Make Parts of Your Image Transparent in Word, PowerPoint and Excel

Sometimes when you place an image into a document, you want part of it to be transparent so you can see what’s behind it. This is handy if you’re layering images or have a background on your document or slide show that you want to remain at least partially visible. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel have built-in functionality to make part of an image transparent and it works pretty well. Here’s how you do it (and the menu options are the same in Word, PowerPoint and Excel, despite our screenshots from Word).

First off, place one of the images you want to layer onto the document. In this case, we’re placing our background image first.

After placing the image in Word, place the image on-top of it that you want to make transparent so they’re layered on top of each other.

If you do this out of order, you can go to the “Layout” menu and arrange the images accordingly by clicking on one and sending to back or vice versa:

Once you get the images arranged how you want, click on the “Picture Format” menu on top, and select “Color”. Once you click on that, click on “Set Transparent Color”

The icon will change. Click on the white part of the “Fence” image to make it so you can see the stickman behind the fence:

Once you click on the white part of the image, it will make the white in that fence image all transparent, revealing what’s behind:

It’s not perfect or it doesn’t give you as much flexibility or control like a dedicated image editing tool would, but it works in a pinch fairly quickly and easily.

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