How to Change Image Color in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

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Change the color of an image by customizing color saturation, tone, recolor, and transparent color options in Microsoft Office apps.

Learning how to change the color of your image in Office apps (such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) is one of the useful tricks that can come in handy in many situations. For instance, if you are writing a business document, making a presentation, or creating a report, you can change the color of the image (like the company logo) to match the color scheme of the document or presentation.

You can change the color of the picture so it doesn’t stand out from the rest of the document. You don’t need fancy image editing software and mad skills in graphic design to change the color of an image, it can easily be done using the picture editing tools in Office apps – Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. MS Office allows you to change color saturation, tone, and recolor the image using various presets as well as your custom color.

The steps and options for customizing images are all same across all the Office apps. In this tutorial, we will learn how to change the picture’s color in Microsoft Office.

Change Image Color in Microsoft Office

Instructions for changing image color are the same across all three Office apps – Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. So, if you know how to insert an image and change its color in Word, you can easily do the same in PowerPoint and Excel using the options from the Picture Format or Format tab.

Follow the below instruction to change the color of the image in Microsoft Office:

First, launch an Office app (Word, PowerPoint, or Excel) and open a new file or open an existing file. If you have an image that you want to change color for, then select it.

If you haven’t inserted the image yet, place your cursor where you want to add an image, go to the ‘Insert’ tab and click the ‘Pictures’ from the Illustrations section. From the menu, select ‘This Device’ to choose a picture from your computer or select ‘Stock Images’ to choose an online stock picture, or ‘Online Pictures’ for bing images.

Then, select the image and click ‘Insert’.

Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the image directly from your source into the document.

After the image is inserted, select the picture and click the ‘Color’ button under the Picture Format tab.

From the Color drop-down, you will see a list of preset colors which are grouped into three sections:

  • Color Saturation
  • Color Tone
  • Recolor

Color Saturation

Color Saturation refers to the intensity of color and purity or brilliance of color in a picture. It also defines how vivid, rich, and bright the color is. As the saturation level increases, the intensity and purity of the color also increase. The fully saturated color is when the color is at its purest. As the saturation decrease, the depth of the color reduces, and the image will veer toward a scale of grey color. At the lowest saturation, the image will be in black and white.

Under the Color Saturation section, you will have 7 preset saturation levels from 0% to 400%. Choose your desired option to change the color.

Here is the picture at Saturation:400% (and the default is 100%):

Alternatively, you can adjust color saturation to the exact percentage you want by clicking the ‘Color’ button and selecting the ‘Picture Color Options..’.

This will open the Format Picture pane to the right side of the window. Under the Picture Color section, use the slider or enter any value between 0% to 400% in the field next to the ‘Saturation’ to adjust color saturation.

Color Tone

Color Tone defines the temperature of the color, which refers to how warm or cool an image’s color is. Tones are created when you mix the grey color with pure color to tone down the intensity of the color. Here, you have 7 preset color temperatures. The lower number values mean warmer color temperature and the higher numbers mean cooler temperature. Choose the color temperature that suits you to change the color tone.

Here, we selected the ‘Temperature 4700K’ (and the default is 6500K) which is a cooler color for the image.

To adjust color temperature using the exact value, you can click the ‘Color’ button and select the ‘Picture Color Options..’. Then, use the slider or enter a value between 1500 to 11500 in the field next to the ‘Temperature’ to adjust the color temperature (warmer or cooler).

Recolor

Recolor options let you color again or differently over an image. It applies a new color to the image with a new hue of your choice to make it match the rest of your document or presentation. The recolor section has 21 preset options (including Sepia, Grayscale, Washout, and others) for recoloring pictures.

This is what the image in ‘Red, Accent color 2 Dark’ looks like:

If you are not satisfied with preset recolor colors, hover over the ‘More Variations’ option below to see and access the color palette. Then, select the color that suits you the most.

Additionally, you can also enter the exact hex code to apply a custom recolor. To do this hover over ‘More Variations’ and select ‘More Colors…’.

Then, switch to the ‘Custom’ tab, enter the hex code in the ‘Hex’ field or use the Red, Green, and Blue options to choose a custom color. Then, click ‘OK’ to apply.

Change the Picture to Black & White

If you wish to change your picture to back and white (greyscale) for appearance purposes or to match the printer’s configurations, follow these steps:

First, select the image, go to the ‘Picture Format’ or ‘Format’ tab and click the ‘Color’ button. From the drop-down menu select either ‘Saturation 0%’ under Color Saturation or ‘Greyscale’ under the Recolor section.

The result:

Set Transparent Color

Set Transparent Color is an option in MS Office that allows you to make a color in the selected picture transparent. With this option, you can select a color in the picture and make all other pixels with that same color transparent. To do this, follow the below steps:

First, select the picture you want to edit. Go to the ‘Picture Format’ tab and click the ‘Color’ button. From the drop-down, click the ‘Set Transparent Color’ option.

After selecting the option, move your mouse pointer over the color you want to set as transparent in the picture. The cursor pointer will turn into a pen shape. Now, click on the color you want to set as transparent in the picture. Here, we are selecting the orange color in the below example.

As soon as you do, all other pixels with the selected color will become transparent as shown below. As you can see, only the orange color turned transparent in the below picture.

Remember, when you select a specific color in the picture, it will turn only the exact hue into transparent.

As you can see below, only the same color with the exact tone, saturation, brightness is turned transparent in the below picture.

Invert the Color of an Image

Inverting the color of an image is the process of reversing the colors of an image and showing the opposite colors in the spectrum. For example, the red color will be reversed or inverted to cyan, white will become black, black will become white, magenta will become green, orange will become blue, and vice versa. To invert the color of an image, do this:

Select the image, go to the ‘Format’ or ‘Picture Format’ tab and click the ‘Artistic Effects’ button. Then, select the ‘Invert Color’ option from the drop-down.

Using MS Paint to Invert the Image

Some newer version of the Office doesn’t have the Invert Color effects in the Formatting options. In such cases, you can use Microsoft Paint to invert the image and then copy the image to Office.

First, insert the image into the document or file. Then, select the image and press Ctrl+X to cut the image into the clipboard.

After that, open the Microsoft Paint program. Then, press Ctrl+V to paste the image from the clipboard into the new blank page of Paint. 

After that, right-click on the image and select ‘Invert Color’ from the context menu.

This will invert the colors of the image as shown below. Then, make sure to select the image and cut the image from the Paint into the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+X.

If you deselected the image, click the ‘Select’ button and then select the image using rectangle selection. Then, copy or cut the image.

Now, go back to your Word document and paste (Ctrl+V) the inverted image right where you cut the image from.

Change Color for Only Part of the Image

There are times when you may want to change the color for only part of the image, like for example changing the background color of your ID photo. You can easily do that with the Remove Background feature in Office. Here’s how you can change color for only part of the image:

First, open MS office (Word or PowerPoint) and insert the picture you want to edit.

Then, select the picture you inserted, go to the ‘Format’ or ‘Picture Format’ tab, and click on the ‘Remove Background’.

As soon as you do that Background Removal tool recognizes the background area and covers it with purple color (the area that’s going to be removed). However the tool is not thorough, so you may have to manually mark the areas you want to keep or remove using the options in the ribbon.

If you click the ‘Mark Area to Keep’ button, you can manually drag the cursor around the part of the shape you want to keep. Or if you click the ‘Mark Areas to Remove’ button, you can select the area of the shape you want to delete.

If you made mistakes, you can press Ctrl+Z to undo the last change or click the ‘Discard All Changes’ button to undo all the areas you marked.

After carefully marking the areas, you can select the ‘Keep Changes’ to save the changes.

Then, select the image, go to the ‘Format’ or ‘Picture Format’ tab and click the ‘Color’ button. And then, select ‘Picture Color Options’ from the menu.

Alternatively, right-click the image and select ‘Format Pictures’ from the context menu.

When the Format Picture pane opens on the right, go to the ‘Fill & Line’ tab and choose the ‘Solid fill’ option under the Fill section.

Then, click the ‘Fill Color’ button next to the Color and choose a color.

You can change any color you want to the part of the image as shown below.

Similarly, you can use the same above methods to change image color in PowerPoint and Excel.

Revert Image to the Original Colors 

No matter what colors or changes you applied to images in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, you can easily revert to the original colors. To reset your picture to its original state, follow the below steps:

Select the image you want to reset, go to the ‘Picture Format’ or ‘Format’ tab and click the ‘Reset Picture’ button from the ribbon. Then, select the ‘Reset Picture’ option from the menu.

And your image will be restored to its original state.

That’s it.