How to Make Pictures Transparent in Excel 2007

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The 2007 version of Excel, Microsoft's spreadsheet software, allows you to do more than create columns and rows of data. It also gives you the ability to make charts and add photos. Adding a picture may spruce up your spreadsheet, but it can also cover up text and make your figures more difficult to read. To keep your picture and make your Excel 2007 spreadsheet readable, you can make certain colors in the picture transparent.

  • Start Excel 2007.

  • Click the picture that you plan to adjust. This makes the Picture Tools panel available for use. If the panel doesn't open automatically, click the "Picture Tools" tab in the Ribbon.

  • Click "Recolor" in the Adjust group. Select "Set Transparent Color" at the bottom of that menu.

  • Click a spot in the photo that contains the color to make transparent. Excel will remove all instances of the color from the picture, making the area transparent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adding transparency works best with simple pictures that contain a limited number of colors.
  • If you don't like the way transparency looks, click "Reset Picture" and try adjusting the brightness of the photo instead.
  • According to Microsoft, the transparency function in Excel 2007 won't work with animated GIFs.

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