The Microsoft PowerPoint logo.

Microsoft PowerPoint provides a suite of basic image-editing tools, including the ability to change the opacity of an object or photo. If you want, you can even change the transparency of only a certain section of an image. Let’s take a look!

Changing the Opacity of an Image or Object

If you want to make an entire object or image more transparent, open PowerPoint and insert an image by clicking Insert > Pictures. When the photo is on a slide, select it and a border will appear around it.

A selected image of a cartoon man in PowerPoint.

Next, right-click the image, and then select “Format Picture.”

Click "Format Picture."

The “Format Picture” pane will appear on the right; click the Image icon.

Click the Image icon in the "Format Picture" pane.

Here, you’ll see a few options. Click the arrow next to “Picture Transparency” to open its drop-down menu. Click and drag the “Transparency” slider to adjust the opacity of the image.

The scale is:

  • 0 percent: Fully opaque
  • 100 percent: Fully transparent

We’ve set ours to 50 percent.

Click the arrow next to "Picture Transparency," and then click and drag the "Transparency" slider.

You can see below what our selected object looks like now.

The image of the cartoon man now at 50-percent transparency.

When you’re happy with the level of transparency you’ve set, close the “Format Picture” pane.

RELATED: How to Change a Picture From Color to Black & White in PowerPoint

Changing the Opacity of Part of an Image or Object

Before we jump into changing the opacity of part of an image, it’s important to note this feature only works on objects that are inserted as a picture. So, if you insert an image inside a shape, this option won’t be available.

With that in mind, click “Insert,” and then select “Pictures” from the “Images” group. In the drop-down menu, select whether you want to insert an image from an online source or your machine.

Click "Insert," select "Pictures," and then click "This Device" or "Online Pictures."

Navigate to the image you want to use, select it, and then click “Insert.”

Click "Insert" after you select your image.

After the image is inserted, make sure it’s selected, and then click “Picture Format.”

Click "Picture Format."

In the “Adjust” group, click “Color.”

Click "Color" in the "Adjust" group.

Select “Set Transparent Color” near the bottom of the menu.

Click "Set Transparent Color."

Your cursor change, as shown below. Use it to click the color in the image you want to make transparent.

An animated GIF of the color transparency cursor moving over an image to select the blue trim of the cartoon man's shirt, and removing it.

After you select a color, every instance of it in the image will become fully transparent and take on the color of the background of the slide.

Unfortunately, this is an all-or-nothing tool. The part of the image you select will either become completely transparent or remain completely opaque.

Note also that if you print your presentation, the transparent areas of the images will be white on the hard copy.

RELATED: How to Blur an Image in PowerPoint

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
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