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How do I remove the background from a photo or picture in a PowerPoint presentation?

powerpoint remove background picture format ribbon

You found the perfect picture for your slide, but the big rectangular image looks out of place. No problem. Here is the help you are looking for.

This works for newer versions of Microsoft Office PowerPoint 365. Earlier versions of PowerPoint have the same basic functionality, but the buttons are slightly different.

  1. First you need to select the picture that you want the background removed from. Just click on the image, it will have a boarder around it so you know it is selected.
  2. The top toolbars in PowerPoint will now add a new ribbon section that says Picture Format.
  3. On the Picture Format ribbon, click on Remove Background
    powerpoint remove background picture format ribbon
  4. If you don’t see this option, make sure that you have selected the picture. If it is part of a group, you might need to right-click the picture and Ungroup, then click on the picture again. Another possibility if you are not able to get this menu to work is that your image is not in a format that PowerPoint can remove the background from. In that case, go to the Home ribbon and click Copy. Then click the down arrow under Paste and choose Paste Special. Select Picture (JPEG). The new duplicated picture you pasted in should be in a JPG format that you can now work with.
  5. The default background area will be colored magenta to mark it for removal, while the foreground will retain its natural coloring.
  6. If the default area isn’t correct, go to Background Removal > Picture Tools and do one or both of the following:
  7. If parts of the picture that you want to keep are magenta (marked for removal), select Mark Areas to Keep and use the free-form drawing pencil Pencil used to draw tables to mark the areas on the picture that you want to keep.
  8. To remove more parts of the picture, select Mark Areas to Remove and use the drawing pencil Pencil used to draw tables to mark those areas.
  9. When you’re done, select Keep Changes or Discard All Changes.

when you are finished, you should see something like this.

removing the background from an image in PowerPoint example