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This chapter is from the book

Formatting Pictures

Because pictures are treated mostly as shapes on a slide, you can use many of the same formatting options on them as you can on shapes. For example, you can add a border to your picture and change its color and width. Or you can add a reflection, a shadow, or soft edges by selecting these options from the Picture Effects galleries—just as you would select them from the Drawing Effects galleries to apply them to a shape.

Since you already know how to apply those effects, in this section we’ll concentrate on the additional options that PowerPoint reserves strictly for pictures. Adjusting brightness, contrast, and sharpness may not completely save a really bad picture, but it might make the difference between one that’s usable and one that’s not. Artistic effects make your picture look like a sketch or painting, which may add some interest to your presentation. And recoloring pictures is an easy way to help make them feel as though they go together. Unleash your inner artist!

Apply Formatting with Picture Styles

Picture styles provide combinations of shapes, borders, and shadows to apply to your pictures with one click.

  1. Insert a picture onto your slide and select it.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format tab, click the More button to expand the Picture Styles gallery.
  3. Click a style from the Picture Styles gallery to apply it.
  4. To resize or reposition the picture within the Picture Styles frame, click the Crop button and follow the instructions in steps 5 and 6 of the Crop Pictures exercise.
  5. To remove the Picture Style formatting, click the Reset Picture button on the Picture Tools Format tab.

Remove Picture Backgrounds

Removing the background of an image lets the slide background appear instead. For example, if your slide has a dark background, you might want to remove a white background from a corporate logo image.

  1. Insert a picture onto your slide and select it.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format tab, click the Remove Background button.
  3. Notice that parts of your image will be colored magenta. The magenta parts of the picture will be removed.
  4. The internal frame gives PowerPoint a general guess as to what you want to keep. Dragging the handles to resize and position that frame may help PowerPoint select more appropriate areas to discard. It doesn’t hurt to try, anyway!
  5. If parts of the picture you want to keep are colored magenta, click the Mark Areas to Keep button, and then click and drag on that area in the picture so it becomes colored again. Zoom in if necessary, and use as many “keep marks” as you need. “Keep” marks appear with a + symbol.
  6. If parts of the picture you want to be discarded are not colored magenta, click the Mark Areas to Remove button, and then click and drag on those areas in the picture. Zoom in if necessary, and use as many “remove marks” as you need. “Remove” marks appear with a – symbol.
  7. Click Delete Mark and then click on a mark to remove it.
  8. Click Discard All Changes to start over.
  9. Click away from the picture to deselect it or click the Keep Changes button when you’re finished.

  10. Apply effects such as color or artistic filters if you want.
  11. To remove all changes to the picture, click the Reset Picture button on the Picture Tools Format tab.

Apply Picture Corrections

Tweaking brightness and contrast are pretty standard image correction procedures, as is sharpening a slightly blurry image.

Brightness and contrast generally work together. Brightness refers to the overall lightness or darkness of a picture, and contrast refers to the difference in brightness between objects or areas in the image. Together, brightness and contrast can improve pictures that are a little too dark or light.

Sharpen and soften controls are more straightforward. Sharpen helps refine edges of objects in the image to enhance the details. Soften blurs edges of objects and contrasting regions to make the photo less detailed. Sharpen can help correct a slightly blurry image, but it’s not a miracle tool!

  1. Insert a picture onto your slide and select it.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format tab click Corrections and then hover over the Sharpen/Soften options. You will see a Live Preview of what that setting would look like if applied to your image. Click a thumbnail to apply that setting.
  3. In the same Corrections gallery, hover over the Brightness/Contrast thumbnails. You will see a Live Preview of what that setting would look like if applied to your image. Click a thumbnail to apply that setting.
  4. To further refine any of these settings, click Picture Corrections Options at the bottom of the Corrections gallery. This opens the Format Picture pane.
  5. In the Format Picture pane, adjust the sharpness by moving the slider or typing in a specific value. You can also access the same options that were available in the Corrections gallery by clicking the Presets button.
  6. Also in the Format Picture pane, you can adjust the Brightness and Contrast settings separately. Move the sliders or input your own values for each. Select from the same options that were available in the Corrections gallery by clicking the Presets button.
  7. Click Reset to remove all Picture Corrections changes.

Recolor and Color Correct a Picture

PowerPoint has quite a few color options and corrections for images, including color saturation, color tone, and various recolor settings.

  1. Insert a picture onto your slide and select it.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format tab click Color and then hover over the Color Saturation options. You will see a Live Preview of what that setting would look like if applied to your image. Click a thumbnail to apply that setting.
  3. In the same Color gallery, hover over the Color Tone thumbnails. You will see a Live Preview of what that setting would look like if applied to your image. Click a thumbnail to apply that setting.
  4. Hover over the various Recolor thumbnails to see how they affect your picture if applied. Your options on the top row include grayscale, sepia, washout, and various percentages of black and white. You also have dark and light duotone recolor options based on your theme colors.
  5. Click More Variations at the bottom of the Color gallery to access the complete theme color palette, to mix your own color in the More Colors gallery, or to use the Eyedropper tool to match a color anywhere on your screen.

  6. Click Picture Color Options to open the Format Picture pane, where you can enter your own color saturation and tone values. Access the same settings that were available from the Ribbon by clicking the Presets buttons.
  7. Click Reset to remove all color saturation, tone, and recolor settings that have been applied.

Apply Artistic Effects

Artistic effects apply filters to the image to make it look more like a sketch or painting.

  1. Insert a picture onto your slide and select it.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format tab, click Artistic Effects.
  3. Hover over the thumbnails to see how the effect will affect your image when applied. Click a thumbnail to apply it.
  4. To further refine the effect you’ve applied, click Artistic Effects Options. This opens the Format Picture pane.
  5. If necessary, in the Effects section of the Format Picture pane, click Artistic Effects to expand those options.
  6. Use the sliders or input your own values for the settings applicable to that artistic effect.
  7. Access the Artistic Effects gallery from the Artistic Effects button. Unfortunately, you won’t see a Live Preview when you access the gallery here. Click any thumbnail to apply the effect.
  8. Click the Reset button to remove the artistic effects and settings that have been applied.

Swap One Picture for Another

Sometimes it’s helpful to substitute one picture for another. That’s what the Change Picture command is for.

  1. Insert a picture onto your slide and select it. On the Picture Tools Format tab, apply a style from the Picture Styles gallery.
  2. Right-click the picture and choose Change Picture. You can also click the Change Picture button on the Picture Tools Format tab.

  3. The Insert Pictures dialog box that opens combines options to add pictures from your hard drive or from an online search or storage location. Choose a new picture and click Insert.
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