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A colorized, softened photo is a common background for a PowerPoint presentation. For example, you may want a photo that is entirely blue. You may have already seen the instructions for this technique, because it is part of the e-booklet that new subscribers to PowerPoint Tips Newsletter receive, but Guy Veazey reminded me that it wasn’t on the Web site. Here’s an example:
colorized and softened photo as background
Here are the steps for PowerPoint:
Insert the photograph that you want to use.
Select the photograph.
From the Picture toolbar, choose Color > Grayscale.
Draw a rectangle that exactly covers the photo.
Double-click the rectangle to open the Format AutoShape dialog box. (In 2007, right-click the rectangle and choose Format Shape.)
In the Fill section, set the transparency to about 50 – 65%.
From the Color drop-down list, choose a color.
In the Line (Line Color in 2007) section, choose No Line from the Color drop-down list.
You may want to adjust the brightness and contrast of the photo using the Picture toolbar and you can further adjust the transparency of the rectangle until you get the result you want.
You can use the result as is, or select both objects (drag diagonally from outside the top-left corner of the slide to outside the bottom-right corner), right-click and choose Save as Picture. When you save it, you can then insert it as a background.
You can create that same effect using Microsoft Photo Editor, which used to come free with Microsoft Office before Office 2003. (However, it was not installed by default. If you don’t have it, insert your pre-2003 Office CD and use the Setup program to install it. Photo Editor is part of Office Tools. To open Photo Editor, choose Start>Programs>Microsoft Office Tools>Photo Editor.) If you upgraded, you’ll probably find that Photo Editor is still on your computer.
Find a photo that you would like to use (you can use one of the photos in the Office clipart collection) and follow these steps:
Open Photo Editor.
Choose File > Open and navigate to your file. Click Open. In this example, I take this family photo (which I call 4 generations) and color it blue.
a picture for editing
Choose Image > Balance.
Choose Red from the drop-down list at the lower-left corner of the dialog box. Using the slider control, set the brightness to 0 and the contrast to 30. Leave the Gamma setting unchanged.
Choose Green from the drop-down list and set brightness to 30 and contrast to 30.
Choose Blue and set its brightness to 80 and contrast to 20. As you work, you immediately see the change in the image behind the dialog box. Of course, you can use any values that fit your needs.
Now choose All Colors from the drop-down list. If you want, make slight adjustments in the overall brightness and contrast.
Click OK to close the dialog box.
To soften the image, choose Effects > Soften.
In the Soften dialog box, drag the slider to the right (Strong) and click OK. You can repeat this process several times, further softening the image each time.
Choose File > Save As and save the file. Click Save. Here you see the result.