Grayscale image with color image effect in PowerPoint

When you add color to part of a grayscale photo, you draw attention to that part of the image because it catches your eye. Achieve this effect by starting with a color image and removing the color from part of the photo. You can use this tip for your next PowerPoint presentation.

The instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; and PowerPoint for Microsoft 365.

PowerPoint color effect

One of the cool features of PowerPoint is that you can change the colors of part of an image in just a few minutes, without the need for specialized photo editing software like Photoshop. This tutorial will walk you through the steps of creating an image on a slide that is a combination of color and grayscale.

For convenience, select an image that is already in landscape format. This covers the entire slide without showing the background color, although this technique works with smaller photos too.

Choose an image with the focus on an object outlined with sharp, well-defined lines. This tutorial uses an example image with a large rose as the center of the image.

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Import the color image into PowerPoint

  • Open a PowerPoint file and select a blank slide.

  • Go to insertion.

  • In which pictures group, select photos.

  • Navigate to the location on your computer where you saved the photo, select and select the photo Open to place it on the PowerPoint slide.

  • If necessary, resize the image to cover the entire slide.

  • Remove background from color image

  • Click on the color image to select it.

  • Go to Image support tools format.

  • In which To adjust group, select remove background. The focal point of the image remains while the rest of the image turns magenta on the slide.

  • If you are happy with the results, select keep the changes. If all or part of the background has not been removed, the background should be refined.

  • Refine the background removal process

    After you remove the background (the magenta part of the image), you may find that some parts of the image are not removed as you hoped, or that too many parts are removed. It’s easy to fix this problem.

    To refine the context go to Deletion of histories and:

    • Choose Mark the areas to keep and drag over the areas of the background that you want to keep in focus.
    • Choose Mark areas for deletion and drag over the areas of the background that you want to remove as they are not part of the focal point of the image.
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    If you don’t like the changes made, select Discard all changes and start over. Or press ctrlZ to undo the last change you made. If you are satisfied with the result, choose keep the changes.

    Re-import an image and convert it to grayscale

    The next step is to overlay a copy of the original color image onto the image, which now only shows the focal point (in this example, the focal point is the large rose).

  • Go to insertion.

  • Choose photo and navigate to the same photo. Select it and select it Open.

  • Make sure this second image is exactly the same size and shape as the first image so it can stack properly on top of the first image.

    Convert image to grayscale

  • Click the newly imported image on the slide to select it.

  • Go to Image support tools format.

  • In which To adjust group, select colour.

  • In which recolor section, select shades of grey. It’s the second option in the first row of the Recolor section.

  • The Info Sphere shades of grey appears when you hover over the button if you are unsure. The image is converted to grayscale.

  • Send a grayscale image behind a color image

    Now send the grayscale version of the image backwards so that it is behind the color centroid of the first image.

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  • Click on the grayscale image to select it

  • Go to Image support tools format.

  • Choose send back. Or right click on the grayscale image and select it Send to the back > Send to the back.

  • With exact photo alignment, the color focus in the grayscale image is perfectly above its grayscale counterpart.

  • finished picture

    The end result appears to be a single image with a combination of grayscale and color. The focal point of this image is beyond doubt.