You can’t make an image itself transparent in PowerPoint, but there’s a workaround.
Why would you want to make an image transparent?
- For a soft look
- To overlap images
- To let text show through
You might have other reasons — if so leave a comment!
It’s a matter of choice
Normally, I would create a slide like this one…
But if I wanted a softer look, to emphasize that the woman is thinking (which is a soft type of activity), I might use a semi-transparent image…
This also allows me to put the text on top of the image instead of wrapping it.
How to create a semi-transparent image
The workaround is to insert a shape, fill it with the image, and then set the transparency of the shape. Here are the steps:
- Insert the image onto a slide. If you want to crop it, do that now.
- Copy the image to the Clipboard.
- Insert a rectangle and drag it on top of the image so that it’s the same size as the image. If the rectangle has different proportions, your image will be distorted.
- Right-click the rectangle and choose Format Shape.
- If necessary, click the Fill icon and expand the Fill section. Choose Picture or Texture Fill.
- Click the Clipboard button to fill the shape with the picture that you copied to the Clipboard.
- Drag the Transparency slider until you get the result you want.
- If you want to remove the Outline, expand the Line section and choose No Line.
- Drag the shape away from the original image and delete the image.
Here are some ways to use semi-transparent images that you might find appealing…
You can use a transparency gradient to gradually fade out the edge of an image. I explain how in my blog post, “Use transparency gradients.” In some cases, you can fade out an image by simply putting a semi-transparent rectangle in front of it.
What do you think of these looks? Can you think of ways to use semi-transparent photos in your presentations? Please leave a comment and also share using the social media icons.