Enhancing Photos in PowerPoint

What Can Be Done With This Picture in PowerPoint? It’s Ugly. 

PowerPoint is a visual program that speaks to a big audience. According to Temple Grandin, many people think in Pictures, while others think in Words. There are some excellent Picture Tools in PowerPoint. Here is the Computer Mama’s favorite: Brightness and Contrast.

In this example, there is a picture of the pumpkin field in Gregory, Michigan. It was taken on a bright summer day late in the afternoon, so there are strong shadows. The picture was taken with a digital camera using the automatic setting. The picture is good, but it could be better.

Adjust the Brightness and Contrast

Brightness is the amount of light on the subject. Contrast is the difference between absolute white and absolute black. Changing the Brightness can make an image much more alive and colorful.

Try it: Adjust the Brightness and Contrast

The picture on Slide 1 is selected. The Picture Tools should be available.

Go to Picture Tools->Format-> Adjust.
Go to Corrections->Brightness and Contrast.
Select: Brightness: 0% (Normal) Contrast: +40%.

What Do You See? There are three different Picture Correction options:

  • Sharpen and Soften
  • Brightness and Contrast
  • Picture Corrections Options.

Each little square in the library is a different percentage of Brightness or Contrast. When you run your cursor over the Correction, you should see a Live Preview.

Lots of Picture Tools

There are many other Picture Tools that you can use to make adjustments, recolor the image, or crop to shape.

Here is a YouTube video that you can watch if you wish.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 Beginning: Every Picture Tells a Story

One More Thought: Compression

By default, Microsoft Office compresses all pictures to a very low resolution. In one way it makes sense: We have to consider Size and Resolution if this image is going to be viewed on the Internet. An image at full resolution (say 8MB) can take a loooooong time to download.

One way to handle this compromise is to use a small, compressed version of the image in the article or online publication. This thumbnail can link to the original, high resolution image.

More Information: Word Compresses My Pictures: Make it Stop!

Good question. Thank you for asking.


Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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