How to make an element of your image stand out from the crowd in PowerPoint

Once again, I’ve been asked by a colleague how to do something that I’ve done in PowerPoint, so once again I’m posting the answer on my blog!

This time it’s how to make part of an image really stand out while the rest is muted into the background…  I call it the “Stand-out” technique.  Please note that if you don’t have PowerPoint 2010, this won’t work the same way for you, but feel free to contact me if you still want to do this.

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Firstly open up PowerPoint 2010 and add a slide, preferably one with just a title

Once PowerPoint is open, click on the home tab of the ribbon, then click on the small down arrow next to the New slide icon and choose the Title only option

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Then insert the image you wish to use onto the slide.  I’ve positioned mine to the right hand side of the slide, but you can put it anywhere.  To do this, click on the insert tab of the ribbon, then choose Picture and search for the picture you want to add.  When you’ve found your picture, click the Open button.

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Then left click on the picture and move it into position by dragging it with the mouse.  You can also resize the picture if you wish using the square and circular placeholders around the picture

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Now for the fun part!  Firstly make a copy of your picture, and move it to one side using Ctrl+D.  Then using the original picture, click on Picture tools from the ribbon and then click on the small down arrow next to artistic effects.  Choose the Blur option.  This gives the picture a 20% blur.  You can manually adjust this by clicking on the picture tools tab of the ribbon then clicking on the tiny arrow to expand the picture styles section.  Then in the picture corrections section, choose to sharpen or soften the picture as you want.  I’ve adjusted mine to -50% (very blurry!)

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This will make your original picture look fuzzy.  Then position the duplicate picture on top of the first.  You can do this manually, or select both pictures and then use the align function on the formatting tab to position them perfectly.  The second option is much better!

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Once the two pictures are aligned, we need to remove the parts of the picture we want to fade into the background from the top picture.  To do this, ensure that only the top picture is selected, then click on the picture tools tab of the ribbon, then on the Remove background button.  Some of the picture will be automatically removed (coloured bright pink), whereas others will remain.

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Adjust the placeholders on top of the picture until you are happy with what is going to be removed or kept.  If there are still some bits that you just can’t get rid of with the placeholders, use the Mark areas to Remove button or the Mark areas to keep button on the background removal tab to manually select areas.  Once you’ve clicked the button use the mouse to draw lines over what you want to remove.

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Then click on the Keep changes button.  Your slide should then look similar to the one below.  All you then need to do is add your text!

See this attachment for further details…  Standing out

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