Before I begin, I want to say how appreciative I am that just this week, we surpassed 900 followers of this blog from Facebook. I appreciate all of you and I read and respond to all questions you might have.
Have you used PowerPoint 2010 much yet? I wish I had more occasions to use it as it has so many cool features and the user interface is sleek and just fun to use! Today, I want to pass along just two features that are useful in a graphic arts sort of way. Instead of taking your pictures and uploading to a cloud service to edit, try keeping it on your desktop and using PowerPoint 2010.
Remove Picture Backgrounds
People joke about photoshopping someone out of a picture, now you can do it with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 instead of an add-on program. It’s an intermediate task and I have great instructions plus here’s a link to the Microsoft PowerPoint blog for even more detail. Below are examples of how I removed everything but the person in one photo and then another example of how I removed greenery and just kept the flowers in the other.
Insert an image>click on the image to activate the picture tools>click on (upper left on toolbar)then you’ll see the tool. Figure out what you want to remove. You’ll see in my illustration that I’ve adjusted the tool to surround the person in the image. You can move the tool around as much as you need to. When you think you have your object set apart, click somewhere else on the slide and the background will disappear and you’ll be left with just the person. (I put a colored background around the boy since it wouldn’t have shown up as well on my white blog background). If you see that some element is in the picture you don’t want, there’s another set of tools you can use to refine your project (see graphic).
Use these tools to refine and get your image just the way you want. If you don’t like the result click on the discard all changes and your image will be back as when you started!
Here’s one more example just for fun…
Build Your Own Graphics – Right in PowerPoint 2010
Ever need a quick graphic, but it seems you spend more time looking for what you need than it should take? If you know what you want/need, use these ‘hidden’ tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 to make what you want – complete with customized color, size and pizzazz.
First, you’ll need to reveal these ‘hidden’ tools. They’re called hidden because there are actually hundreds of these types of tools that you can choose to add to PowerPoint and they will then show up in your Quick Access Tool bar. (See this link for a short video of what this tool bar can do for you. It’s worth your time.)
Here are the steps to get the tools you’ll need for this project: File >PowerPoint Options > Quick Access Toolbar > Commands Not in the Ribbon > Combine Shapes. After this step, then you’ll see this new icon in the upper left (where your other quick access tools are by default).
Now you’re ready to build your graphic element. Now, I’m not as clever or creative as the Microsoft folks, so below is what I came up with, you’ll have to forgive my simplicity and lack of creativity! I made a simple stick figure and used the ‘combine’ feature to combine the body, legs and arms shape into one element. The head and balloon words did not work with these tools. After the body part was finished I simply selected all the elements and went to the ‘arrange’ button to group them all together. This is a very handy button!
You can visit the Microsoft PowerPoint blog here and see the cool key project they made – it’s much fancier than mine and has great instructions. So try out Microsoft PowerPoint to make your own graphics. I’ve used it in the past as I find it easier to work with tools I already have on my local drive rather than having to log into a web tool, upload and then start creating and revising my graphic. I’d love to hear about the tools you use.