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Workaround for Picture Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Explore a workaround for pictures backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and 8






We have already shown you how you can apply picture fills as slide backgrounds, all the picture format options which can be applied on a picture also works for a picture background. Unfortunately, once you apply Office 2013's Service Pack 1, many of the picture format options for picture backgrounds stop working. Some of these techniques are explained in our Picture Corrections and Color Options for Picture Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 and Artistic Effects for Picture Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2013 pages. Until future updates restore the options back, you can follow the workaround explained on this page, all within PowerPoint 2013.

Echo SwinfordA special note of thanks to PowerPoint MVP Echo Swinford for exploring and sharing the techniques mentioned on this page.

  1. Instead of applying a picture as a background, just insert it within your slide, as shown in Figure 1.

    Picture inserted on slide
    Figure 1: Picture inserted on slide
  2. Now, make all the necessary adjustments such as: Picture Corrections, Artistic Effects, Changing Color, etc. Figure 2, below shows some adjustment made to the picture inserted earlier.

    Picture with adjustments made
    Figure 2: Picture with adjustments made
  3. Now, drag the selected picture to the slide workspace, as shown in Figure 3. Then with your picture still selected, press the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to copy this picture to the clipboard.

    Picture moved out of actual slide
    Figure 3: Picture moved out of actual slide
  4. Right-click on the slide and from the resultant menu, choose the Format Background option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3 above.
  5. This opens the Format Background Task Pane where you can see the Fill option (highlighted in red within Figure 4) already selected. Here, select the Picture or texture fill radio button (highlighted in blue within Figure 4), a few more options appear that you can see in Figure 4. Now, click the Clipboard button (highlighted in green within Figure 4).

    Format Background Task Pane
    Figure 4: Format Background Task Pane
  6. This will paste the picture in the clipboard as a background picture, as shown in Figure 5.

    Picture pasted as background picture
    Figure 5: Picture pasted as background picture
  7. You can hereafter optionally delete the picture on the original slide.
  8. Remember to save your presentation often.

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