03 April 2012

Tutorial: Using Remove Background in Word 2010

I absolutely love the look of a sharply-contrasted black and white photo.  There's something about the juxtaposition involved with creating such a distinct picture while somehow leaving a sort of subtlety from the absence of color.
It's fascinating to me.  Do you enjoy this too?

I also love that by changing this particular photo to purely black and white, the Captain America mask that my fiance was sporting was magically transformed into a seemingly awesome retro pilot mask.  Do you see that or is it just me? 

When I discovered that with Word 2010 comes an additional feature for picture manipulation entitled "Remove Background", I immediately saw endless possibilities for using this. 

NOTE:  Many graphics programs come with a similar feature (often more than one) that allows the user to remove the background in similar ways to those described here.  My intent in this tutorial is simply to describe how the Remove Background feature may be utilized in Word either for those who are not as familiar with or do not have access to graphics programs, or for anyone who is merely interested in learning how to use Word to more of its full capacity. 


1. Open a picture and click Remove Background.

Go to INSERT --> PICTURE and choose an image.  I decided upon this lovely one of a strange man wearing a children's super hero mask.

With the image selected, go to FORMAT --> REMOVE BACKGROUND  (left-most icon on the ribbon).  Pieces of the image will then be colored purple.

Anything tinted purple represents the background and will be removed if we were to choose Keep Changes.  We need to fix this to include all of the image we want to keep.

2.  Drag the sides of the selection box to include the entire desired area to keep.

Expand or contract the selection marquee by dragging the sides to include all pieces of the image you want to keep.  Notice, the program is rather good at already guessing which pieces I want to keep, and which pieces are the background. 

3.  Click Mark Areas to Keep.  Draw lines / dots on any purple sections that you want to keep.

Click MARK AREAS TO KEEP.  Then, select sections of the image to keep by clicking and dragging to make lines across these sections.  You can also place dots by merely clicking on spots of the image to keep.  I've marked the lines I drew with white arrows.

TIP: This part will take a little tweaking; use CTRL + Z to undo something if it doesn't work for you.

Do not fret too much about too much of the background being included--we will take care of this in our next step.

4.  Click Mark Areas to Remove.  Draw lines / dots on sections to remove.

Click MARK AREAS TO REMOVE.  Select portions of the image that you want to be removed by clicking and dragging to make lines across these sections.  As with the Mark Areas to Keep, you can also place dots by merely clicking on spots of the image to remove.  I've marked the lines I drew with white arrows.

Again, CTRL + Z is your buddy.  

5.  Click Keep Changes.

Continue to use MARK AREAS TO REMOVE & MARK AREAS TO DELETE until desired.  Click KEEP CHANGES to accept the image.  The background tinted in purple will now be removed.

TIP: You can always return to the original image or readjust the background by selecting Remove Background again and either Discarding All Changes or editing the background to remove.

Ta-Duh!  This is how to use Remove Background in Word 2010.  Continue on to learn how to jazz up this image into a formatted black and white picture.....

Recoloring & Formatting the Image

1.  Click Color, and choose a Color format.

With the image selected, go to (Picture Tools) FORMAT --> COLOR and select a color format for the image.  I chose the Black and White: 25%.

2.  Click Picture Layout, and choose a Layout Format.

With the image selected, go to (Picture Tools) FORMAT --> PICTURE LAYOUT and select a layout format for the image.  Hover the mouse over each of the options to see the Live Preview of what the layout will look like.  I chose the top left option.

3.  Add Finishing Touches (e.g. Text, Borders, Shading, etc.)

To insert dressy text, I like to use the pre-defined WordArt Styles.  Either insert a text box or use the one from the picture layout and then change the WordArt by going to (SmartArt Tools) FORMAT --> WORDART STYLES and clicking the drop-down arrow next to the example letters.

Now, add a border by going to (SmartArt Tools) FORMAT --> SHAPE OUTLINE and selecting a fancy color. Or non-fancy.  Your choice.

There you have it:  A fighter pilot fit to rival Snoopy. 

How are you going to use Remove Background?  Do you have any extra tips on using it?


  1. You have done a very good job. I am also working with this term of photoshop. When I want to do this type of job I basically use remove background from the image

  2. Wow, That's a nice method...... If I want to remove background from image, is Photoshop is perfect?? or gimp?

    Clipping Path India

  3. So superb! Idea is great to working with word, superior creation looking artistic and so creative I really like this job with a handsome guy. ;)

    ghost mannequin | background knockout | glamor retouching

  4. I read your blog very carefully & it's quite interesting.If you have any work on graphics related you can easily check our public profile on fiverr.com
    or knock us here
    or https://www.fiverr.com/carddesignrr/do-photoshop-remove-background-crop-resize

  5. This is very effective post for relevant topic remove background from you photos.

    There have some excellent provider here to provide excellent
    Background Removal Service
    . You can try

  6. Great post
    Background Remove is my one of favorite things. I love Photoshop background remove service. I found very amazing photo edit service at PhotoEditExperts . I would be very happy if you check this incredible site.