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Changing Color of Pictures in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn how to change the color hue of pictures in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows. You can alter the saturation, tone, and even recolor with a single color.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher



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When you insert a drawing or illustration in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows, it may not always match the look and feel of the other slide objects such as text color or other visuals, or it may not look great against a particular slide background. Fortunately, the Recolor Picture option can help:

  1. Select a picture on your slide that you want to recolor, as shown in Figure 1. Note that the picture you select must be a vector picture such as a drawing or illustration rather than a bitmap picture (so, no photographs). Learn more about differences between vectors and bitmaps here.
  2. Vector picture selected
    Figure 1: Vector picture selected
  3. Double-click the picture to bring up the Format Picture dialog box that you see in Figure 2. Make sure you have chosen the Picture tab of this dialog box. You can offset this dialog box by moving it a little so that it does not cover your selected picture. We will tell you later why we asked you to move this dialog box. For now, click the Recolor button highlighted in red in Figure 2.
  4. Recolor button within Picture tab of Format Picture dialog box
    Figure 2: Recolor button within Picture tab of Format Picture dialog box
  5. This summons the Recolor Picture dialog that you see in Figure 3. Note that each color used in your picture is shown twice within two columns called Original and New.
  6. Recolor Picture dialog box
    Figure 3: Recolor Picture dialog box
  7. For each color in the New column, you will find a downward pointing arrow (highlighted in red in Figure 3, above). Click this arrow to bring up the Color menu, as shown in Figure 4.
  8. Color menu
    Figure 4: Color menu
  9. Choose any of the color swatches in this menu, or click the More Colors option to bring up the Colors window with the Standard tab active, as shown in Figure 5. You can choose any of the colors available in this window.
  10. Standard tab within Colors window
    Figure 5: Standard tab within Colors window
  11. Alternatively, click the Custom tab in the same window to bring up the color picker you see in Figure 6. Choose a color you want, and click the OK button.
  12. Custom tab within Colors window
    Figure 6: Custom tab within Colors window
  13. This will get you back to the Recolor Picture dialog. Replace some or all colors as required, as shown in Figure 7.
  14. All colors changed within New column
    Figure 7: All colors changed within New column
  15. Note that the Recolor Picture dialog has some more options:
    1. In the Change area, you can choose to change all colors, or just the fills. The latter option leaves the outline colors unchanged.
    2. You can also click the Preview button to see how the recolored picture looks on the actual slide (see Figure 8). That's the reason we asked you to move the dialog box in step 2. Otherwise, this dialog may have covered your picture, making the Preview option unusable.
  16. Preview of the picture can be seen by clicking the Preview button
    Figure 8: Preview of the picture can be seen by clicking the Preview button
  17. When you are done, click the OK button. Figure 9 shows you the original picture on the left, and its recolored version on the right part of the slide. Note that in this case, the recolored version matches better with the slide background. Thus, it creates a more cohesive look.
  18. Compare the two variations of the same picture before and after re-coloring
    Figure 9: Compare the two variations of the same picture before and after re-coloring
  19. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

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

Changing Color of Pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
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

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