Remove that annoying background from your company logo

If you can't include your company logo in a presentation because of its unsightly background, use this PowerPoint trick to make that background disappear.

Adding your company logo to a presentation seems like an easy enough task. You probably have a special graphic file that's just the logo — how hard can it be to insert it onto a slide? Inserting it isn't a problem, but getting it to look right might be. Quite often, the logo shows up with a background, and unless the slide's background matches the logo's background perfectly, it looks awful. (Please don't flame me for the yellow background; the garish yellow makes the example easy to see.)

If your logo is a bitmap file, the solution is easy, but perhaps not well-known.

  1. In Normal view, right-click the logo image and choose Show Picture Toolbar to display the Picture toolbar.

  1. Click the Set Transparent Color tool (the next-to-last button). The pointer will change to resemble the transparency tool. 

  1. Simply click the image's background. If you're lucky, the off-white background will just disappear like magic!

If you're using PowerPoint 2007, do the following:

  1. Click the Format tab.
  2. In the Adjust group, choose Set Transparent Color from the Recolor drop-down list.
  3. Click the image's background.

Of course, you can use this feature to remove more than backgrounds. Just click an area and it'll disappear. If you don't like the look, press [Ctrl]+Z. At the very worst, you might have to delete and reinsert the file to start over. This transparency setting works best with bitmap files. For vector files (most clipart), you'll need special image editing software.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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