MS Office Programs – How Can One Remove The Background Of Pictures

It does not matter what MS Office program you use right now, it can be Outlook, Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, it is very easy to get the background of a picture removed. This is a very useful skill for highlighting certain points in the graphics you present to the audience. In this article, you will learn how to get rid of any kind of destructing elements from your pictures.

Note that it is not possible to remove the background for vector graphic files, such as Windows Metafile Format, Vector Drawing File, Adobe Illustrator Graphics, and Scalable Vector Graphics.

Purple flower with green leaf background

Flower with background removed

It is possible to use an auto background removal, but the result will be better once you start drawing lines which indicate certain areas of your picture to be removed or to be kept.

Flower with leaves in the background

  • Start with pressing the image where you need to remove the background.

  • Find the section “Picture Tools” on the tab “Format” (see the group “Adjust”) and press “Remove Background”.

    The Remove Background button, shown on the Picture Tools Format tab of the Ribbon in Office 2016

  • You can apply additional actions on the tab “Background Removal” under the section “Picture Tools”:

  • Some parts of your picture were removed but you want to keep them. In such a case, you should press “Mark Areas to Keep” and use a drawing pencil which has three form shape. Using this pencil it is very easy to mark the area which have to be kept.

  • If you want to delete some additional parts of your picture, you will need to press “Mark Areas to Remove” and use the same drawing pencil for marking these additional areas.

    The background removal buttons on the Picture Tools Format tab of the ribbon in Office 2016

  • When you are finished, you will have to press “Keep Changes”/ “Discard All Changes” in the group “Close”.

  • Save the picture correctly. All these changes affect the copy of your picture which will be shown in your PowerPoint presentation/email message/workbook/document. Your original picture will not be affected. After selecting the option “Keep Changes”, you should right click your picture and save your revised picture as the separate file by pressing “Save as Picture”.


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