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PowerPoint: Remove A Picture’s Background With This Built-in Tool

Removing the background from any image is a tedious task. The busier the background is, the longer it’s going to take to clean it up. If you have Photoshop, and you know how to use it a bit, you can probably remove a picture’s background with less effort but not everyone has Photoshop. If you have the Office Suite of apps, you can use PowerPoint to remove a picture’s background. There’s a built-in tool that can do that but it will take time to clean the image.

Open PowerPoint and go to the Insert tab to insert a picture into the slideshow. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop an image onto PowerPoint. To make things easier, make sure your slide background is not the same color as the image background. Pick a slide design that is a strong contrast from the image to make working with it easier. You can always change it back later.

After inserting the image, select it so that the Format tab appears on the ribbon. Go to the format tab. At the very left, you will see a large button called ‘Remove background’. Click it.

The tool will apply an auto-mask to it and even for a simple image, we found it wasn’t very good. Expand or shrink it to suit your needs. Anything outside the mask will be removed. Now, use the masking tools, mark the areas you want to remove or keep. Drag the tool out to mark the area with a line. Click to add a point. Once you’re done, click the ‘Keep Changes’ button to apply the change.

The results, if you spend time on them, are fairly good. It also depends on the images you have to clean up. A busier background needs more work and PowerPoint’s auto-mask will be of less help.

If your image is particularly dense, you should try using an app like Paint.Net. It has a nice wand tool that makes it easier to select large parts of an image and delete it. The wand tool is the same tool that you would utilize in Photoshop and it’s fairly easy to use. It won’t give you the same masking tool that PowerPoint has but you can use it to do most of the heavy lifting and then return to PowerPoint to clean up the edges.

You should save the PowerPoint presentation to save the changes made to the image. You can later extract the image by zipping the file, and then extracting it.

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