A Black and White to Color Photo Trick in PowerPoint

01
of 06

Change Picture from Black and White to Color During the Slide Show

Duplicate photo slide in PowerPoint
Duplicate photo slide in PowerPoint. © Wendy Russell

Remember Dorothy's Visit to Oz?

Most people have seen the movie The Wizard of Oz. Do you remember that the movie began in black and white and once Dorothy stepped out of her house in Oz, everything was in glorious color? Well, you too can achieve this effect in your PowerPoint presentations.

The sample on Page 6 of this tutorial, will show you the effect of changing a picture from black and white to color using transitions.

Note - For a different method of changing a black and white photo to color as you watch, see this tutorial, which uses animations instead of transitions.
Black and White to Color Photo Animations in PowerPoint

Use Transitions to Change Black and White Photos to Color

  1. Choose Insert > Picture > From File
  2. Locate the picture on your computer and click the OK button to insert it.
  3. Resize the picture if necessary, on the slide.
  4. Choose Insert > Duplicate Slide to duplicate this complete slide. Both slides should now show in the Outline / Slides pane on the left slide of the screen.
02
of 06

Format the Picture in PowerPoint

Choose Format Picture from the PowerPoint shortcut menu
Choose Format Picture from the PowerPoint shortcut menu. © Wendy Russell

Format the Picture

  1. Right click on the first picture.
  2. Choose Format Picture... from the shortcut menu.
03
of 06

What is the Difference Between Grayscale and Black and White?

Convert the picture to grayscale in PowerPoint
Convert the picture to grayscale in PowerPoint. © Wendy Russell

Grayscale or Black and White?

Since we are starting with a color photo, we must convert it to a black and white format to use in the presentation. The resultant presentation will show a photo changing from black and white to color, as if by magic.

To get the picture we want, we will convert the photo to grayscale. Why, you might ask, will you not choose the option Black & White rather than Grayscale when converting from a color picture?

  • Black & White makes the photo exactly that -- a stark black and white photo, with no variety of the lighter tones of gray. This is not a true picture, at least for our purposes.
     
  • Grayscale, offers what the average person would call a black and white photo -- complete with all the variations of gray added in.

Format as Grayscale

  1. In the section called Image control click the drop down arrow beside the Color: selections.
  2. Choose Grayscale from the list.
  3. Click OK.
04
of 06

The Picture is Converted to Grayscale

Change PowerPoint photo to grayscale
Change PowerPoint photo to grayscale. © Wendy Russell

The Picture is Converted to Grayscale

In the Outline / Slides task pane on the left, you will see both versions of the same picture -- the first in grayscale and the second in color.

05
of 06

Add a Slide Transition to Change From One Picture to the Next

Add a transition to the picture in PowerPoint
Add a transition to the picture in PowerPoint. © Wendy Russell

Change Slides Seamlessly

Adding a slide transition to the black and white slide will make the change to the color slide to appear seamlessly.

  1. Make sure the color picture is selected.
  2. Choose Slide Show > Slide Transition... from the main menu.
  3. Select the Fade Smoothly or Dissolve transition from the list in the task pane on the right side of the screen.
  4. Change the speed of the transition to Slow.

Note - You may also wish to add a slide transition to the first slide (the grayscale slide) as well.

06
of 06

View the PowerPoint Slide Show to See the Photo Color Trick

Animation of picture changing from black and white to color in PowerPoint
Animation of picture changing from black and white to color in PowerPoint. © Wendy Russell

View the Color Trick

View the slide show to test out the color conversion of your photo from black and white to color.

  • Choose Slide Show > View Show or press the F5 key on the keyboard to view the show.
  • Press the Esc key to end the slide show at any time.

This animated GIF above demonstrates how the conversion will work on your photo to convert it from black and white to color.