Image Color or Recolor Options in Microsoft Office

Switch Up How Pictures Look When Already Inserted in Word, PowerPoint, and More

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Images enhance text in Microsoft Office programs. As you fine-tune document design, you may want to adjust how images are colored or tinted.

Customize image color or recolor options that are already inserted in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other programs by following the steps below.

This can allow you greater control over saturation, tone, and transparency. Here's how to recolor or adapt your original picture.

Here's How

  1. Open the Microsoft Office program as well as a document with images inserted.
  2. If you do not yet have images inserted, go to Insert - Image or Clip Art. Depending on your version of Office, follow one of the following paths. Either right-click the image and choose Format Picture - Picture (mountain icon) - Picture Color, or left-click on the image then select Format - Color - Picture Color Options (you may need to click the arrow at the bottom of this dialog box to find this option) - Picture (mountain icon) - Picture Color.
  3. You can use the pre-made correction presets that show up (or, go to step 7 to have more control by using Picture Color Options). The presets you see will vary depending on which program and version you are working in, but should include Saturation, Tone, and Recolor. For more detail on a similar set of presets, check out How to Apply Artistic Effects for Images in Microsoft Office

  1. Saturation refers to the depth of color applied to your image. Notice how these presets range across a spectrum of color depths. If you see one that would work well for your project, select it here, among values between 0% and 400%.
  2. Tone refers to the warmth or coolness of the image color, and this preset also offers choices along a spectrum. You will notice these values have different temperature ratings, denoting how warm or cool the image tone is. 
  1. Recolor refers to a color wash placed over an image. This means your image will be treated as black and white, but with other options for the "white". It means the fill or background color as well as some tones in the line art itself will take on that color. Presets typically include Sepia, Grayscale, Washout, Gold Tone, and other options. 
  2. Alternatively, click Picture Color Options. Adjust the Color Saturation using the dial or numerical input. Color Saturation refers to the level of presence or intensity the image has.
  3. Adjust the Color Tone using the dial or numerical input, remembering that Color Tone is adjusted in terms of temperature and refers to how warm or cool the image hues appear.
  4. If you wish, Recolor the entire image using the drop-down menu.

Additional Tips

  1. If you want additional Recolor options, try selecting Format - Color - More Variations. This allows you to customize the color shade more precisely.
  2.  An interesting tool to click on below the color presets in the Set Transparent Color tool, which allows you to make a color in the selected image transparent. After selecting this tool, when you click on a specific color in the image, all other pixels with that color will become transparent as well.
  1. From time to time, I have run into a couple images that just would not respond to these tools. If you are running into a lot of trouble, try testing another image to see if this could be the problem. You may need to find another image format or use another image if the problem persists.

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