Use a Picture as a Background on a PowerPoint Slide
A reader recently asked if he could use one of his pictures as a background for his powerpoint slide. The answer is yes and here is the method.
Set Your Picture as the powerpoint Background
- Right click on the background of the slide, being sure to avoid clicking on any text boxes.
- Choose Format Background… from the shortcut menu.
powerpoint Picture Background Options
- In the Format Background dialog box, make sure that Fill is selected in the left pane.
- Click on Picture or texture fill as the type of fill.
- Click on the File… button to locate your own picture saved on your computer. (Other options are to insert a picture stored on the clipboard or from the Clip Art.)
- Optional – Choose to tile this picture (which repeats the picture several times across the slide) or to offset the picture by a specific percentage by direction.
Note – The most common use for tiling a picture is to set a texture (a small picture file that is stored on your computer) as a background, rather than a photograph.
- Transparency – Unless the picture is the focal point of the slide, it is a good practice to set a transparency by percentage, for the picture. By doing this, the picture is truly just a backdrop for the content.
- Choose one of the last options:
• Reset Background if you are unhappy with your picture choice.
• Close to apply the picture as the background to this one slide and continue on.
• Apply to All if you would like this picture to be the background for all of your Slides.
powerpoint Picture Background Stretched to Fit Slide
Picture Background Stretched to Cover Complete Slide
By default, the picture you choose to be the background of your Slides will be stretched to fit the slide. In this case, it is best to choose a picture with a higher resolution, which also results in a larger picture.
In the two examples above, the picture with the higher resolution is crisp and clear, while the picture with the lower resolution is blurry when it is enlarged and stretched to fit the slide. Stretching the picture can also result in a distorted image.
Add Transparency Percentage to powerpoint Picture Background
Make the Picture Background Transparent
Unless this presentation is designed as a photo album, the picture will be distracting to the audience if other information is present on the slide.
Again, use the format background feature to add a transparency to the slide.
- In the Format Background… dialog box, after selecting the picture to be applied as the slide background, look to the bottom of the dialog box.
- Notice the Transparency section.
- Move the Transparency slider to the desired transparency percentage, or simply type the percentage amount in the text box. As you move the slider, you will see the transparency preview of the photograph.
- When you have made the transparency percentage choice, click the Close button to apply the change.
Tiled Picture as powerpoint Background
What is a Tiled Picture Background?
Tiling a picture is a process where the computer program takes a single picture and repeats that picture many times until it covers the whole background. This process is often used on webpages when a texture is desired for a background rather than a plain colored background. The texture is a very small picture file, and when repeated many times, appears to seamlessly cover the background as if it was one large image.
It is also possible to tile any picture across a powerpoint slide to use as a background. However this may prove distracting to the audience. If you do decide to use a tiled background for your powerpoint slide, then be sure to make it a transparent background as well. The method for applying a transparency was shown in the previous step.
Tile the powerpoint Picture Background
- In the Format Background… dialog box, select the picture to be applied as the slide background.
- Check the box beside Tile picture as texture.
- Drag the slider beside Transparency until you are happy with the results.
- Click the Close button to apply the change.