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Changing Color of Pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to change the color hue of pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. You can alter the saturation, tone, and even recolor with a single color.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher



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One of the coolest options for editing pictures in PowerPoint is to change the hue of your entire picture so that it looks almost like a duotone picture. Similar to how you apply corrections to your inserted pictures, this Color option can also help you do more with your pictures. Be aware though that this Color option does not work like a coloring book; rather it changes the overall hue color of the entire picture, saturates color values, changes the overall color tone, and does more. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows, and navigate to the required slide. Insert a picture, or if you already have a picture on your slide, just double-click it to activate the Picture Tools Format tab of the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 1 (highlighted in green).
  2. Picture Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 1: Picture Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  3. Within the Picture Tools Format tab, click the Color button (highlighted in red within Figure 2) to access the Color drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 2.
  4. Color drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Color drop-down gallery
  5. In Figure 2, you can see that the Color drop-down gallery sports three sections: Color Saturation, Color Tone, and Recolor which include preview thumbnails of the selected picture variants. To select any of the variants, just click on it. In addition to these sections, you can also see three more options within the Color drop-down gallery. These are used to color the selected picture. Let us explore all of Color drop-down gallery contents one by one, as marked in Figure 2 above:
  6. A. Color Saturation

  7. This section includes thumbnail previews of the selected picture's variants with different pre-applied saturation values. If you hover the mouse cursor over any of these variants, you will see a tool tip that shows the saturation value in percentage, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3 below.
  8. Tool Tip displaying saturation value in percentage
    Figure 3: Tool Tip displaying saturation value in percentage
  9. B. Color Tone

  10. Here you'll find thumbnail previews of the selected picture's variants with several temperature values. If you hover the mouse cursor over any of these variants, you will see a tool tip that shows its temperature value (similar to what you saw in Figure 3, above).
  11. C. Recolor

  12. Tints and shades of accent colors along with grayscale and black and white variants are shown as previews in this group. While the first row is populated by grayscale and black and white variants, the previews in the second and third rows of this section are shades (darker variations) and tints (lighter variations) of Accent colors. Accent colors are influenced by the Theme of the active presentation. So, if the Theme is changed, the colors of these previews in the second and third rows will change. Just hover your mouse cursor on any of the variants in this section to see its name as a tool tip.
  13. D. More Variations

  14. This option, when selected opens a sub-gallery, as shown in Figure 4.
  15. More Variations sub-gallery
    Figure 4: More Variations sub-gallery
  16. Within the More Variations sub-gallery you'll get four sections, which are explained below:
  17. Theme Colors

  18. Here you can select any of the colors which are from the active Theme of the presentation. You can also select any of the 5 tints or shades for any Theme color. Learn more about Themes here.
  19. Standard Colors

  20. Here you can choose from any of the ten standard colors. These ten standard colors are just choices of colors that PowerPoint believes to be widely used. You don't have to limit yourself to either the Theme colors or Standard colors, as we'll show you in the next options. It's a good design idea to use Theme colors as far as possible.
  21. Recent Colors

  22. Here you can find the colors most recently used. If you have just launched PowerPoint and created a new presentation, the Recent Colors option may be entirely absent since you haven't selected any color recently!
  23. More Colors

  24. This option is to summon the Colors dialog box, which helps you to create your own new color for the picture border. To learn more about how to work with the More Outline Colors option, read our Add Solid Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows tutorial; explore step 3E in that tutorial. Even though the option explained in that tutorial is More Fill Colors, the Colors dialog box options work similarly for More Colors option too.
  25. Note: When you move your cursor over different previews, within the Color Saturation, Color Tone, and Recolor sections, and over the options within the More Variations sub-gallery, the selected picture shows a Live Preview of the variation (or option).

    Eyedropper

  26. This option enables you to pick an exact color from anywhere, sometimes even from somewhere outside PowerPoint. Explore our Eyedropper Option in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows tutorial to learn more.
  27. E. Set Transparent Color

  28. If you want a particular color in the selected picture to be made transparent, this option comes to your help. First, select this option. The cursor shows a slanted arrow in place of a four directional arrow, as shown in Figure 5 (highlighted in red).
  29. Cursor changes when Set Transparent Color option is selected
    Figure 5: Cursor changes when Set Transparent Color option is selected
  30. Place this cursor on the picture color you want to make transparent, and click. This will make all those areas in the picture 100 percent transparent. Note that all picture types won't support this option. Typically, this option works with bitmaps, and not vector images.
  31. F. Picture Color Options

  32. This is the last option within the Color drop-down gallery which takes you to the Picture Color option within the Format Picture Task Pane that you can see in Figure 6.
  33. Picture Color options within the Format Picture Task Pane
    Figure 6: Picture Color options within the Format Picture Task Pane
  34. Here, you can select any of the preset Picture Color types (same as in Color section within drop-down gallery), and also, make changes to the Saturation and Temperature values using sliders or by directly typing in the values in digits, as required. Once done, close the Task Pane.
  35. Recolor the picture by selecting any thumbnail preview variant, or using the Color options within Format Picture Task Pane. In Figure 7 you can see the selected picture after it has been recolored. Compare pictures in Figures 7 and 1 to see the difference.
  36. Selected picture recolored
    Figure 7: Selected picture recolored
  37. Save your presentation often.
Tip: You can follow the same procedure explained above to recolor the picture set as a fill for a shape.

See Also:

Pictures Basics and Adjustments: Changing Color of Pictures (Glossary Page)

Changing Color of Pictures in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Changing Color of Pictures in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Changing Color of Pictures in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Changing Color of Pictures in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

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