How to Make Shapes Transparent in PowerPoint: Step-by-Step Guide

Are you curious to know how to make shapes transparent in PowerPoint? We've got you covered.

Making shapes or images transparent in PowerPoint enhances the visual appeal of your presentation. It also adds depth and creativity, helping you highlight specific ideas on the slides.

So, how do you make a shape transparent in PowerPoint?

Don't break a sweat. This article will cover everything you need to know about shape transparency in PowerPoint, including a step-by-step guideline on how to change transparency in PPT.

What Are the Basics of PowerPoint Shape Transparency?

If you are new to PowerPoint, the alpha value of an object determines its shape transparency. The value ranges from 0% to 100%. At 0%, the shape is entirely opaque; at 100%, the shape is completely transparent.

You can find the transparency settings in the dialog box. Go to the ‘Format Shape’ and navigate to the ‘Fill & Line’ option. You can adjust the transparency level using the Transparency Slider or keying in a value in percentage.

In short, adjusting the transparency of a shape in PPT:

  • Adds depth to your presentation by creating a subtle and layered effect.
  • Highlight key areas of your presentation.

Remember to use transparency sparingly and strategically to avoid cluttering your slides. This gives your presentation a cohesive visual design, making it easy to read and understand.

How to Make Shapes Transparent in PowerPoint

Want your presentation to capture the attention of your audience?

The secret is creating attractive visual slides. I mean making every shape transparent to create a background for the text.

Here are easy steps on how to make a shape transparent in PowerPoint:

1. Open the PowerPoint Presentation

The first step on how to change the transparency in PPT is to open Microsoft PowerPoint. Once the program opens, navigate to the presentation you want to edit.

2. Select the Shape

In your slides, choose the shape(s) you want to make transparent. You can create a new shape if the slides only have plain text.  image5.jpg On your original PPT, go to the ‘Insert’ tab. Scroll to the ‘Shapes’ option and select a shape of your liking from the available options.

3. Customize the Shape

To customize your preferred shape, modify its size, color, outline, or add text. After customization, right-click on the shape to highlight it in blue. This means the shape is ready for editing.

4. Select ‘Format Shape’

image1.jpg Navigate to the Format tab and select ‘Format Shape’ in the drop-down menu. Scroll to the bottom left corner and click ‘Fill’ and ‘Line’ settings. A drop-down menu (dialog box) with more options will appear.

5. Click on the ‘Transparency’ Option

Select the Transparency Slider to adjust the transparency of your PPT shapes manually. You can also change the transparency level by keying a percentage value into the provided tab.


6. Preview the Transparency

Open the dialog box and navigate to the preview button to preview the effects of each percentage value you enter. This way, you can see how the shape looks at different transparency levels. Iterate and fine-tune the transparency settings until you attain the desired effect.

7. Confirm the Transparency

Once you find a satisfactory level, click the ‘Close’ button to confirm the changes. This will apply the transparency level selected to the shape.

What to Consider When Adjusting Shape Transparency in PPT

When adjusting shape transparency, there are several factors you should consider to attain the desired visual effect. They include:

  1. Context and intention. In which context are you planning to use your design? Adjust the shape transparency to suit your specific context. For example, a minimalist design can use a subtle transparency effect. You can apply a high transparency level when working on a futuristic design.

  2. Color and background. Transparency varies with different colors and backgrounds. You need to experiment with different combinations to attain an optimal transparency level.

  3. Desired effect. What effect do you want to achieve with shape transparency? Do you want a partial see-through, subtly faded, or utterly transparent shape? Defining your desired effect helps you make suitable adjustments.

  4. Layering. Transparency adjustments involve working with layers. So, consider the layering order of your shapes, how they impact each other, and their overall effect.

  5. Consistency. Be consistent when making transparency adjustments throughout your presentation. This way, you can create and maintain a cohesive visual experience. Consistency also makes your slides legible and easy to understand.

Can I Make an Image Transparent Instead of a Shape in PowerPoint?

Yes, it is possible to make images transparent in PowerPoint.

But before we tackle it, let me show you how to remove an image background online in one click.

Outcut, a feature of AI Image Editor, is a reimagined way of removing backgrounds in your images. In short, Outcut in ImageWith.AI is an advanced AI technology that can precisely analyze your pictures and remove unwanted backgrounds. 

And you don't have to worry about your skill level– Outcut has a user-friendly interface to accommodate everyone.

What's more exciting about Outcut in ImageWith.AI? You can remove an image background in three easy steps:

  1. Upload an image. Click the ‘Upload Image’ button to upload your image. Once done, the Outcut algorithm examines the color and composition of your image, identifying elements that need to be removed.

  2. Remove background. Outcut uses the information obtained from the image to remove the unwanted background automatically.

  3. Download image. Once Outcut removes the background, you can download your image in your preferred format.

That was easy, right? Then, get started with Outcut and achieve stunning visual results in seconds.

How to Adjust Image Transparency in PowerPoint

You can directly apply transparency to an image using Office 2021 or Microsoft 365 subscription. Simply insert a picture in your PPT and select ‘Transparency’ from the Picture Tools Format tab. Select a preset (0% to 100%) and apply it to your image.

If you are using older versions of Microsoft Office, follow this workaround:

  • Select Insert and navigate to Shapes to choose a shape.
  • Use your image’s dimension to draw a shape in your PPT
  • Right-click on the shape and choose Outline, then No Outline
  • Right-click the shape again and tap on the Format Shape option. Navigate to the Fill tab and select Picture or Texture Fill on the drop-down menu.
  • On the ‘Insert picture from,’ choose File and insert your image
  • Use the Transparency Slider or enter a percentage value to adjust the transparency of your image

You can use the Offset settings to readjust your image if it appears distorted. Or, you can manually resize its shape. Watch this explainer video on YouTube for more information on adjusting image transparency in PPT.  Adjusting Image and Shape Transparency in PowerPoint (Quick Tip TUTORIALS)

How to Make a Shape Transparent in PowerPoint Quicker

If our step-by-step guide on how to change transparency in PPT sounds longer, there's a quicker gateway.

So, what's the quicker way to achieve full-shape transparency?

The No Fill option. This option makes the shape completely transparent and retains its outline.


Here's how to use this method:

  • Open your PowerPoint and click on the Shape tab
  • Navigate to the shape fill button menu and select No Fill
  • If using a mobile app, click the Shape and scroll to the bottom. Choose the paint can option below all the available colors.

Make Your Shapes Transparent in PowerPoint

Making shapes transparent helps you achieve visual appeal in your presentations. You can also add a texture of creativity to your slides to make them stand out.

But how do you achieve this?

Open your original PPT document and select ‘Shape.’ Tap the ‘Format shape’ and use the drop-down menu to find Fill and Line settings. Choose the Transparency option and adjust the transparency level to fit your needs.

Use the Preview tab to see the effect of each level on the image. Iterate and fine-tune the settings until you attain your desired result. Once you find your perfect combination, click the Close button to confirm and apply the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make an Object in PowerPoint Transparent?

You can make an object (image, text, and shape) transparent in PowerPoint. Select the object you want to make transparent and scroll to the Format option. Open the Format Shape tab and navigate to Transparency. Use the Transparency Slider or enter a specific value to achieve your desired transparency effect.

Is it Possible to Make WordArt Transparent in PowerPoint?

Yes, you can make WordArt transparent in PowerPoint. Select the WordArt and tap the Format tab. Open the Format Text effects and choose the Text options. Use sliders or manually key in a specific value to adjust the transparency level of your WordArt.

How Do I Apply Transparent Gradients to a Shape in PowerPoint?

To apply a transparent gradient to a shape in PowerPoint, select the Shape and navigate to the Format Shape pane. Click on the Fill options and scroll down to Gradient Fill. Enter a specific value or use a slider to adjust the transparency of the gradient(s).