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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Photo Editing within PowerPoint

Insert Picture
Within PowerPoint there are some basic photo editing tools that you can use to save yourself time and effort. If you don't need to open up a new program to make the changes you need, it'll be that much faster to complete your presentation. First you need to insert the image using the "Insert" feature.

Once you've got that picture all nice and cozy in your PowerPoint slide you can start to manipulate and edit the image to be where you want it and to look like you want it. The software automatically switches you to the "Picture Tools" tab when you insert or click on a picture.

Within the "Pictures Tools" tab you have quite a few options like cropping the image, adding different effects to the picture, resizing the picture or moving the image around on the slide. One set of commands that I use quite a bit are the alignment commands in the upper right. Click on the "Align" button then click "Align Center" to put your picture exactly between left and right. Click "Align" again then click "Align Middle" to put the image directly between the top and bottom. Now it's perfectly centered on the slide.

Look over at the left hand side and you'll see the bulk of the photo editing options within PowerPoint. Here you can tweak the brightness, contrast and color of the image. Use the "Compress Pictures" button once you're done editing to reduce the size of your presentation. Use "Change Picture" to find a completely different image. Click "Reset Picture" to clear off all the changes you've made and start editing from scratch.

Click on "Brightness" or "Contrast" and you'll see a series of options either greater or less than zero percent with zero being normal. Hover your mouse over any of the options to preview what the picture will look like. This is mildly helpful, but I find that I rarely use this feature. The "Recolor" option however has come in handy a few times.

Click "Recolor" and you'll see several different color options for your image. If you hover your mouse over them you'll see the name and a preview of what it will do to your picture. The "Washout" option is great for producing a watermark effect with an image behind text. Use the "Sepia" and "Black and White" options for an older, more classic look to your slides.

One of the most useful tools is down there at the bottom of the "Recolor" menu that opens up: "Set Transparent Color." With this you can click a color in your image and it will be transparent so you can essentially have a cutout of an image to use with other images or with text on your slide. This will only work for solid colors, but if you have a good stock photo against a background of a solid color it's very useful.

What PowerPoint photo editing Kung Fu do you know?

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