PowerPoint Removing Backgrounds from Pictures

PowerPoint Removing Backgrounds from Pictures

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removing backgrounds powerpoint

Removing Backgrounds from Pictures

PowerPoint removing backgrounds from pictures. Extracting the main subject from the background of a picture or photograph used to be a marathon task (for me!) involving Photoshop masks and paths or background erasers but nowadays you can do it directly in process using the Remove Background control in PowerPoint.
elvis on car
You won’t get quite the sophistication or fine control of the Photoshop process but for simple images the edge detection is really good and it only takes a few minutes. 
This is perfect for simple image manipulation, like removing the white background from a company logo.
Here’s a photograph of our mascot, Elvis, sitting on the bonnet of a car. He loves doing this while the engine’s still warm. But I didn’t want him on the car, I wanted him on a slide. PowerPoint will do this in 5 minutes, in real life there’s no way that cat’s moving. The first job is to insert the photograph onto your slide as you usually do and keep it selected.
Next, find the Remove Background control, it’s on the extreme left-hand side of the Picture Tools tab. Give it a click and see what it comes up with.
You usually find that the initial results are quite impressive and after a wee bit of tweaking you’ve got an excellent extraction.
remove background control

First Pass

As you can see with this one most of it’s good but part of the car has been retained and Elvis has lost his stripey tail.
There’s a bounding box around the captured subject image and all the areas of the photograph that are to be removed are coloured mauve. Now for the tweaking. We’re going to adjust the bounding box to include the tail and then zoom in on the other areas and use the controls on the ribbon to specify which parts we need to keep or remove.
first go not bad
adjusting the bounding box

I’ve dragged the left edge of the box to the left and Elvis gets his tail back. Great. I’ve dragged the bottom edge of the box down and Elvis gets his front paw back but I’ve gone too far down and included his reflection on the car.

Keep going with the box until you get as close as you can to your desired image. Now it’s time to zoom in and deal with all the fine work by using the keep and remove controls on the ribbon.

Fine Tuning the Image

Zoom in or out of your image either by using the Zoom control at the lower right-hand corner of the PowerPoint window or by holding down the CTRL key as you spin your mouse wheel forward or back.

When you use the Mark Areas to Keep and Mark Areas to Remove controls don’t bother trying to draw a line around the areas to keep or remove, instead draw a line straight across them and let the edge detection do the work for you.

Draw a line with the pencil pointer straight across the offending areas.

controls on the ribbon
using the remove control
zoomed in for fine work

Here we can see the results, after a few swift strokes most of the car has been removed and if I had more patience then I would have continued going around Elvis and tidying up his fur but I wasn’t bothered as it’s a fairly low-res photograph and the intended slide image is quite small.

It’s time to click the Keep Changes control and let the cat out of the bag.

I’ve often wondered why that cat is called Elvis.


And finally, here’s the old fella on his slide ready to wow his audience by telling them all about the really important things in any cat’s life.
I’ve changed the background image and I’ve flipped and rotated Elvis. He won’t like that at all.
“Where’s my dinner?” “Miaow!!!” I think it’s time I left the building. Best of luck with your PowerPoint removing backgrounds from pictures.
thoughts of chairman elvis

Related Courses

Microsoft PowerPoint Introduction – Link

Microsoft PowerPoint Advanced – Link