PowerPoint Picture: Removing the White Surrounding an Image

This article tackles a technical PowerPoint issue that many people may come across, but not know how to solve. Our readers discuss removing the white background to images on different software updates of Microsoft PowerPoint.

How can I get rid of the white surrounding the picture?? 

Question by Jon Richards.

I have three pictures of people that I want to copy into powerpoint in front of a contrasting background. In paint, I have deleted everything around the actual picture of the person (background, etc), so only the frame of the individual should be copied. However, once I paste the picture into ppt, it always shows up as a white square with the picture in the middle.

Answer from Simon R.

  • In HELP look up transparent.
  • PowerPoint 2003 shows “about transparent areas” and suggests using .PNG (Portable Network Graphic) images. You might need image editing software to suit your needs, otherwise you already seem to have the skills to paste them directly in the background image outside of powerpoint and use that graphic.
  • You may get a reasonable (but not perfect) result by clicking the white background with the transparency tool. Using 2002/3 it’s in the picture toolbar and using 2007, its in Picture tools tab>recolor.
    Paint doesn’t create transparent backgrounds so you would need to use a higher end editor to get better results .We use Photoshop but Gimp (free) or Impress (open office) or other free tools might do it.
  • In the most recent form of PowerPoint, you can click on the image, then follow Format> Remove Background. It can automatically remove most of the background, or you can do it manually.

Answer from Mary Gold.

I agree the transparent tool in Powerpiont can often do the trick – if anyone has a copy of Photoshop you can use the magic wand and then apply feathering – that’s really the best way and not difficult to do, but requires additional software.

Sometimes when I have picture with a white background I’m having trouble getting rid of, I will instead perform some sleight-of-hand and place a frame around it by creating a box with white fill and a border of some color and place the picture in the middle of it. This at least makes it look intentional.

 Answer from Amy Applestein. 

Click on the image and in the picture tools click the recolor button, and choose set transparent color. Then click on the white around your image and voila.


Published On: 24th Oct 2015

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1 Comment
  1. Click on the picture. Click on . Click on . The white line disappears.

    Leslie Savage 1 May at 1:43 pm