Make A Picture Transparent In PowerPoint

There are several reasons why you might want to make a picture transparent in Microsoft PowerPoint. One reason is that you have place the image over some text and you want the text to show through the picture. Unfortunately, PowerPoint 2013 does not allow you to simply adjust the transparency of a picture you insert into your presentation. You have to do follow some extra steps.

Change The Background Of A Shape To Be An Image

First of all you will need to insert a shape onto a slide. Let’s use a bog standard rectangle: go to the Insert tab and click on the Shapes command (in the Illustrations group). Choose a rectangle:

Choose Rectangle

The cursor will change to a crosshairs shape, indicating that the shape tool is active; drag out a rectangle on your slide. Once you’ve dragged it out, you can resize it by dragging the resize handles at the corners and halfway along each edge.

Once you are happy with the size of the rectangle, right click on it and select Format Shape.

Format Shape

The Format Shape panel will open to the right of your workspace. In the Fill section, Solid fill will be selected by default.

Format Shape Panel

We need to add a picture to the background, so select Picture or texture fill. When you do, you will see different options appear in the Format Picture panel – all picture related. We first of all need to select a picture, so click on the File button, beneath “Insert picture from” (see 1, below).

Select Picture

Navigate to where your picture is located on your computer, select it and click Insert, The picture will now appear as the background to the rectangle. Now that we have the image in place, we can adjust the transparency setting (see 2, above). If you drag the transparency slider to the right, you will increase the image’s transparency and it will appear more see-through. Drag the slider to the left and the transparency decreases – the image becomes more solid. Alternatively, you can type in the percentage transparency in the input box to the right of the slider, if you know the precise setting you want (perhaps you are following a tutorial).

The rectangle you inserted may have a border on it. If you don’t want a border, click on Shape Outline (in the Shape Styles group) and then select No Outline.

No Outline

The tabs and commands referred to above can only be seen when the shape (the rectangle) is selected. They are context sensitive tabs. Hopefully this knowledge will help if you are having problems locating them.