Deep Dive: PowerPoint Photo Retouching - Everything About Picture Editing

About this lesson

Learn everything about photo retouching and editing in PowerPoint.

Fine-tune your image with saturation and color tone and understand the relationship between brightness and contrast.

Leverage the special effects of filters and recoloring. Remove backgrounds and add frames.

Learn it all for both Windows & macOS. Also, learn the secret to straightening and deskewing your images with our Power Up Training pro tip.


00:00 Intro
00:35 Agenda
01:08 Basic Tools
01:28 Adding Pictures
01:55 Resize & Crop
02:36 Context-Aware Picture Format Menu
03:13 Crop a Photo
04:07 Brightness vs Contrast Tool
06:22 Sharpening & Blurring
07:14 Fixing Extreme Pictures
07:55 Saturation – Vivid and Monochrome
09:08 Recolor Photos
10:20 Creating an Artistic Look
11:42 Artistic Effects Filter
12:40 Transparency Tool
14:25 Color Tone – Cooling and Warming the Image
14:48 Fix Tilting Horizons
17:52 Intersect Merge Shapes
18:30 Framing You Photos
19:13 Remove the Background
22:05 Rotate and Flip Image
22:31 Wrap-Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility Office 2010 up to Office 365 - Windows and macOS


Course Completed

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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<MUSIC> Welcome to

PowerUp training”s “Photo Retouching in PowerPoint,” fixing and enhancing your images with the tool you own. Hi, this is Les from Power UP! Training where I share my decades of experience with you for free.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover all the photo editing tools in PowerPoint, starting with PowerPoint 2013, up to the latest office, 365 for both Windows and Mac iOS. We will explore the standard photography touch-up tools for picture quality through brightening and adding depth with color sharpness. and contrast.

Review, how to focus your viewers attention with image size and cropping. Learn to be creative, to enhance the picture with some unique PowerPoint tools and filters, and finally learn some pro tricks for making your image horizons level, a special Power UP! Training tricks. And how to use background removal? So let’s go power up.

To get a strong grasp of the fundamental editing tools I’m going to drop out of the slideshow mode into my windows office 365 PowerPoint program and bring up a photo to work on.

All of the images in this tutorial are for my personal library, except for the slide background of the Olympus camera artwork from to add a photo, you could just drag it from your local computer folder onto the slide canvas, or go to the insert ribbon menu. Next click pictures, the down menu, expand button, and then select this device to explore your local hard drive, click on the chosen filed, and choose insert. I’m bringing in a mediocre photo of my two dogs that we are going to enhance.

Beforehand though. I want to resize it by grabbing a corner and you’ll see the double arrows, which I can then click and shrink. Then going into the middle of where I’ll see the four-way arrow. I can relocate the image. I’m going to keep this here as a reference As the before and then I am going to perform a copy and paste to duplicate the picture.

Once again, to move an image, just place the mouse pointer inside before clicking and dragging a four way arrow

pops up. To indicate that you’re moving to resize. You need to click on one of the eight grab handles to stretch your shrink.

If these concepts are new to you, then look for our listed tutorial above to master the mouse.

One more critical concept. The picture format, context menu. Normally the picture format menu is hidden and only appears when relevant and what’s relevant. It’s when you select an image, watch how the menu appears had disappeared based on if the selection is an image or off an image. So step one is always select the image you want to work on and then click on picture format. As we’ve seen, grab me a corner. We’ll resize the picture, but to refocus our viewer’s attention, we can also crop or eliminate edges to the photo to add punch, to do this. We click on the picture format and then select the crop tool on the top right-hand corner.

Once clicked special black frame appear where we can grab corner or size to slice away the edges of our photo to better focus on the key elements watches. I eliminate the top poodle plus get a tighter framing around Bella, the Maltese Puppy. And when finished click either outside the crop area or click the crop action menu icon again to complete the removal next week, and now move it around and resize the image to make it jump out. Now let’s attempt to improve the image quality itself with brightness and contrast for non photographers. The concept of brightness and contrast as a combined modifier can be hard to wrap our heads around. Brightness is easy to understand here’s our base image. On the left side, we have the brightness increased to a point where we cannot see the details of the white fur It becomes completely washed out in whiteness, but make it too dark.

And all the colors seem to disappear uniformly compared to the contrast tool. The first image is a low contrast while the differences between the highest and lowest colors are minimized, creating a more flat look with a higher contrast setting. We have just widened the spread between the brightest and darkest portions of the image. Look at the differences of the brown wood deck. When we maximize the contrast, you see the details between the brown and the light brown. So contrast will add punch. Even with these differences explained, it becomes more complex when changing both brightness and contrast together. Fortunately, PowerPoint has a slick technique to give the non photographer a way to work with these two seemingly competing controls in unison with the photo selected and the picture format menu in vote. We can click on corrections and see a grid layout of both brightness and contrast.

The cool part is that we can have visual example of the interaction of increasing and increasing either brightness or contrast smack in the middle is our original photo with no changes, but go left or right to change the brightness up and down to change the contrast as you move your mouse pointer and it hovers over the settings, you can see the amount of change. And also the targeting image is previewing the change this way, you can let your eye tell you what looks best and then click for Bella. The puppy, just increasing the contrast by 20% and not change. The brightness works best for my eyes, sharpening and blurring use the same correction tool and we can easy preview the blurring. Our sharpening of the image. Blur may give a dreamier effect or soft and wrinkles on a personal portrait while sharpen will bring out details such as the individual strands of fur on Bella.

As always you should be careful about going overboard with extremes.

In full screen slide show mode, let’s compare the cropping and resizing eliminated the distraction of the second puppy and brought Bella up close and personal, adding a touch of extra contrast and sharpening emphasized her hair and the texture of the deck without totally losing the pure whiteness of the dog body. So we see that we can improve an image, but what if we start with a poor quality, all of the image, let me duplicate this image. This time, the shortcut key of control D for “duplicate.” I want to move it and resize it where he with brightness and contrast, I can start at the extreme lowest for both. Hey, it looks like mud, but if I start to pry it up, I lose more and more of the image to a whiteout. So by hovering my mouse around, I finally find that lowering the brightness by 20% and raising the contrast by 40% gives me an imporved image, not great, but it’s improved.

Let’s try a new tool saturation. This will increase the color vividness, and we can see if that helps while going and removing all the colors to just a black and white may work for this antique car. The going in the opposite direction makes the color jump out like a psychedelic trip of our natural colors. So let me just bump up the saturation by one notch. Still the grass does look pretty fake. PowerPoint can only do so much. However, there are other tools such as Adobe, industrial strength, Lightroom that can pull out more depths and colors. Here’s the exact same photo that I worked on in Lightroom. The orange paint jumps out more. The fenders are darker black. The rest shows up in better contrast, and we can see some of the darker clouds in the Adobe edited files tie the lesson. PowerPoint can help an okay picture, but I cannot salvage one that is too extreme.

Let’s look at what PowerPoint can do well.

Recolor and image to match a mood or create a stylistic. Look, let’s take Bella the pup and duplicate the image three times using control D control D control D and then we’re going to move one of the photos to the far, right. I’m going to select all the photos and using the home menu of a range. We’re then going to distribute the images evenly on the page and aligned them to the top of each one. If you need to learn more about the align tool followed this tutorial link above to create a subdued rainbow of colors. I’m going to click on the first bell of the pup picture and then under picture format and color dropdown menu. I can then have my choice of recolors to choose from. I must select the next image and a new color repeat until I have all four different muted colors of the same image.

The recolor can be used on a single image to match the existing slide, color theme, or to create this nice effect on a single image. Now let’s get a little artsy with some more extreme changes. This Portland, Oregon cherry blossom park photo looks okay, but it’s not spectacular. That’s okay. Cause you know what? We’re going to turn this into a muted background. Our first step is to make it feel the screen. If I try to stretch it to resize, I find that the dimensions of the image does not match my screen size. So I need to use the crop tool and select an aspect ratio of 16 by nine to match once selected. I can now drag one corner to the top, right? And the other corner to the bottom left to fill up the screen note that I am going to lose a sliver of the top and bottom of the photo to make it fit proportionally.

When lined up, I need to go back to the crop menu command and choose, fill to have it feel the crop mark spaces. If you want to learn more about crop your photos, see the above tutorial. The next step is to make the images just a bit more pleasing by exploring our brightness and contrast choices. I’m going to choose 20% brighter and 20% more contrast to make it look just, okay. It’s a little better now to the fun part, to make this a useful background image, we will explore the artistic effects. This is a collection of 20 plus filters to turn our image into pencil drawings, pastel paintings through a class window, have your mouse over the image to see the special effects changes on your photos. No that on slower computers, you do have to be patient for PowerPoint to repaint the screen preview.

I selected the glass effect to give it a more abstract look. Now I need you to send the photo to the background by clicking on the image, and then I’m going to choose the downward arrow on sin backwards to bring our text boxes on top. See our tutorial on object layers listed above and we’re getting close, but the black text does get lost. We could change the image or I could use the new tool of transparency where the image selected. We can then make it fade more into the background. By increasing the transparency. I’m going to choose 65% to get the image to melt into the background and our text titled jumping out. And there you have it. A new and unique background. Note that I use this exact same technique to create our tutorial themed background of the camera seeing here. So onto our last complex project, where we look at two more tools of lighting and fixing a Tilda horizon.

This specific ocean image is a sunset on the Oregon coast. The exposure color and angle are all wrong, but PowerPoint to the rescue so that we can see the before and after I’m going to duplicate it and resize the image that we’re going to be working on. Starting with brightness and contrast, I’m going to have a right mouse over some of the selections, and eventually it looks like a 20% higher brightness and 20% higher contrast. We’ll make this look much better. See how the rating texture looks cleaner and the haystack rock in the background is darker and more structured. Next. We can try the saturation tool that has worked in the past. But if I increase the color saturation. Look at the ways in the middle. They just don’t match. So let’s switch to a new tool, color tone.

color tone will make an image cooler, more blue or a warmer, more golden yellow.

And in our case that golden temperature color of 11,200 Kelvin degrees makes us image look glowing without messing with the colors of the waves. So the image now has a great look, but the horizon is tilting.

it’s is surprising that the glass is not sliding down the railing. Okay. Let rotate the image by grabbing the circle, arrow and spinning the photo to make the ocean and sky horizon level eye balling. It makes it hard to tell for sure. So let’s do a new technique of turning on the ruler and the grid lines and the guides under view, and then click, click, click. And if we want, we can add an acutal guide by right clicking at the top and choosing add horizontal guides, which we can then grab and drag up as a reference line near our horizon to match it up, swimming in. I can now rotate the image to get it fairly, very close to be in level PowerPoint works in whole percentages.

So sometimes you can only get so close to perfect, but not exactly good. Now try to make this slanted frame look normal by going to the crop command Wait! Wait! Crop is not going to work. It cuts off the edges, but it still stays like a crooked frame. Unfortunately, there is no tool built into PowerPoint BUT. We get clever and we can use a combination of techniques to fix it.

Step one, go to insert and add in the rectangle shape, we’ll be using this like a cookie cutter stamp to remove the offending parts of the slanted picture while not required. I like to select the shape and under shape format, go to shape, fill and to no fill this way. I can see my cookie cutter cutout more clearly. I will next resize and reposition the rectangle to get my final look, see how I’m framing the sun, the glass and the haystack rock.

Making sure that my corners are inside the image. Everything outside will be cut off. The next important step is to send the rectangle shape behind the photo by clicking shape format and send backward. It’s a bit visually deceptive as even when it is behind the selected items. The selection frame is still shining through, but once sent to the back, you’re good to go for to the next of the last steps. You now have to select both the image and the rectangle shape. This can get tricky. You have to make sure to start your mouse lasso approach completely outside the corners. See how I need to do this several times to make sure I got it right, but when selected, you’ll see them both selected on this screen with the images and the rectangles. Now for the, of our cookie cutter rectangle that is now selected with the photo, I’m going to go to a shape format menu because one of my items is a shape and the there’s a picture there. I’m going to find merge shapes, action icon menu. And then the super power command is intersect. This will cut the photo from the intersecting shape of the rectangle to get a perfect rectangle level image. Our photo with the corrected horizon.

He was quite a few steps,

But we did it and it was worth it. Look at our before and after images to see the warms of the afternoon, sunset to make up for those many, many steps. Here’s a quick win using another technique. I’ve got six duplicate photos of my older dog, penny lane, the miniature poodle with the image selected and under a picture format. There are several dozen predone frames just to enhance the image. Take a look. As I applied different frames for different effects, some of them are subtle with shadows. Some are slanted, some have angles to the frame and there’s even a reflection underneath one of the choices. I believe every photo should be framed and even a subtle frame can make an image stand out. Here’s our last special effect. Trick, isolating an object and removing the background. This trick will let you edit out the background.

And for our example, we’re back to Bella joy, the Maltese puppy, I’m using this image because there’s a strong contrast between Bella and the dark background. This will help tremendously to isolate the desired object. You know, the drill like the object, like on picture format and here in the far left, you’re going to find, remove background. Here’s a quick side note. The remote background tool in PowerPoint has been there all the way back to PowerPoint 2010 and is also available on the Mac iOS version. However, the icons and steps are slightly different, but still the concept is the same. Furthermore, there are some limitations of which files I can work on and take a look at those on the, this screen, once removed background is selected PowerPoint. We’ll attempt to identify the background with the magenta color, with our high contrast, to Bella, the pup against the darker deck.

He was a pretty good gas by Microsoft. But when I click keep changes. We see it was not perfect and not perfect. It’s not good enough. See her cute black nose got cut out and even the top of her head and the foot. So let’s undo this and try it again. You have to tools to either add or subtract mistakes from the auto tool. In our case, it’s only ad that we want to put back into the image. So I’m going to click and mark the areas to keep using my mouse pointer, to go in and find the magenta color markings on the part of the image that should be left in. I’m going to click and drag over the spot for the nose. My highlighting work is a bit sloppy, but if I wait and release the mouse PowerPoint, will think, and then mark to keep by removing the magenta highlight, I would do the same for the top of the head.

And then again for the foot, each time pausing to wait for PowerPoint to make the update. In reality, it’s just to click in the area. You don’t really have to drag your mouse over and as you save your changes and find more issues, you do not need to undo, but just go back and remove background in PowerPoint. We’ll remember the last changes and let you do additional fixes such as her ear and her mouth. I’m satisfied with these results. So I’m going to copy Bella the Pup and go to the next slide where I will paste the dog in with the sheet I’m going to now reposition the cutout and size her down. But there’s one last issue. She’s looking in the wrong direction, a simple fix, as we can rotate the image, actually not rotate like we did the ocean horizon earlier, but instead we’re going to use the rotate action icon to flip horizontal so that the dog is a mirror image of its original orientation. Yes, there are other more sophisticated background removal tools, but PowerPoint does an adequate job because it is the tool you own.

There, you have it. The complete tutorial on photo retouching in PowerPoint. You just found this useful dude like it and share it with your friends and coworkers. Please subscribe to encourage me to make more free tutorials for you. And if you want to learn all about PowerPoint, visit us

So until next time go power up.