How to Remove the Background from a Picture in Microsoft Word

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Every so often, you might want to remove the background from an image in your Word document, leaving a transparent area instead. You could turn to a full-featured image editor, but you can also do this right within Microsoft Word. Here’s how.

There are many reasons why you may want to remove the background from an image. Perhaps you want to focus on one particular person or object without the background getting in the way. Maybe the background color doesn’t fit well with other colors in your document. Or maybe you just want to use Word’s text wrapping tools to get the text wrapped tighter around the image. Whatever your reason, removing the background from an image in Word is pretty easy.

The caveat here is that Word’s image editing tools are not as sophisticated as those you’ll find in something like Photoshop, or even other image editing apps. They work best if you have a fairly simple image with a clearly-defined subject.

How to Remove the Background from an Image in Word

We’re going to assume you’ve already inserted the image into your Word document. If not, go ahead and do that now.

Click the image to select it. When you do that, you’ll notice an additional “Format” tab appear on the Ribbon. Switch to that tab and then click the “Remove Background” button on the far-left side.

Word colors the background the image in magenta; everything in magenta will get removed from the image. This Is Microsoft’s attempt at auto-detecting the background of an image.

As you can see, Word isn’t quite sophisticated enough to accurately pick out the background on most images. That’s ok. Word provides two tools for helping you clean things up.

You should now see a new “Background Removal” tab on the Ribbon with a few options: Mark Areas to Keep, Mark Areas to Remove, Discard All Changes, and Keep Changes.

Returning to our example, you can see that Word didn’t correctly mark part of the background—there’s some grass still visible right in front of our tiger’s face. Word also marked part of the tiger (the area behind his head) incorrectly as part of the background. We’re going to use both the “Mark Areas to Keep” and “Mark Areas to Remove” tools to fix that.

Let’s start with the areas we want to keep. Click the “Mark Areas to Keep” button.

Your pointer changes to a pen that lets you highlight the areas of the image you want to keep. You can click a spot or draw a little bit. You’ll have to experiment with your image to find what works best. Keep in mind that you can undo an action if you go too far, or you can click the “Discard All Changes” button to wipe out all your changes and start over.

Check pics below:

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