From a recent conversation about how a slide design was created, I realize that it is difficult to keep up with the number of new features being added to PowerPoint. If you have a familiar workflow, you might not be looking for a new workflow. This blog post is about a new, but not really that new, feature in PowerPoint – setting the transparency level of an image.

Here is a slide design scenario (inspired by the conversation noted above) and how to use PowerPoint’s image transparency. Starting with this example slide and inserting an image onto it.

Here is the image, positioned and cropped to fit the open right side of the slide.

The goal is to make the right side have a stylized background element (this photo) with content on top. Open the “Format Picture” pane on the right side.

Go to the PICTURE section and expand the PICTURE TRANSPARENCY options.

Use the presets to quickly change the opacity/transparency of the image.

Or use the Transparency slider, or select the number field and enter an exact percentage. The image on this slide was set to 90%.

All within PowerPoint we have placed an image. Sized, positioned and cropped an image. And adjusted the image transparency – no Photoshop needed. This faint image over the white background can now be the stylized background for the slide content.

Going one styling further, a golden gradient image was placed under the image, making this slide layout quick to update to any color accent (and the content text was updated to white to provide adequate contrast for legibility).

Troy @ TLC