Adding Emphasis to PowerPoint Images: It’s Black and White

Adding Emphasis to PowerPoint Images: It’s Black and White
March 17, 2014

When it comes to creating compelling PowerPoint presentations, more and more emphasis is being placed on limiting text and opting for visuals to communicate the message.  The right images can make a world of difference when it comes to engaging an audience, and keeping them focused on the speaker’s message rather than on reading a slide.

Presenters and PowerPoint designers can draw from an array of tricks to create consistent sets of images for cohesive presentations, tips for image placement for clean, professional slides and much more.  Often when working with images in PowerPoint, it’s necessary to emphasize certain elements of a slide. There are of course a number of ways to accomplish this using arrows and highlighting, but at times this can cause a slide to look cluttered and unprofessional.  

In this post, I’ve included a step-by-step breakdown for a simple way to emphasize objects on a slide using subtle animation and a touch of black and white.

1. Insert and copy images

Once you’ve identified the set of images you would like to use, insert them on your slide and make a copy of each. Be careful not to resize the copies as you move them around the slide, as they will need to retain their original dimensions to create the desired effect.

2. Change image color scheme

Next, click one of the copied images that you aren’t planning to emphasize and select Format from the Picture Tools menu. Click the Color dropdown menu, and select the black and white color option. Repeat this step for all remaining images except for the one you want to emphasize.


3. Layer images

Once you’ve transformed the desired images to black and white, drag each black and white version to directly overlay its original counterpart. Then right click the black and white image and select Send to Back so that the original, full color version of the image comes to the front again. Repeat this step for the remaining black and white images.

4. Animate original image

Lastly, for all images except for the one you want to emphasize, add a subtle exit animation. To do so, click the image, select the Animation ribbon, and choose one of the exit animations highlighted in red.  You can then manipulate the duration of the exit animation to impact the speed at which the image turns to black and white. Repeat this step for any remaining images.


When you’re done, test your slide in Slide Show mode. Once you fire the animations, you’ll be left with a final result that looks like the one below, offering a clean and professional looking way to call attention to the key element on the slide.


For more PowerPoint tips like this, visit our PowerPoint Resource page.

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