Home » How to Make Silhouettes in PowerPoint

How to Make Silhouettes in PowerPoint

Silhouettes are a versatile and engaging teaching tool. Are you wondering if PowerPoint can be used to create them? In this article, I will guide you on making silhouettes in PowerPoint.

What Is a Silhouette, and How Can It Be Used in the Classroom?

A silhouette is exactly what you think it is. It’s an image that is blacked out. These are useful for checking that students can say the word or phrases the image represents. These are very useful when teaching phrases like “What’s this?” You can have all the images as silhouettes, and the students can guess the picture. I have also used a silhouette game for those introductory weeks in a course book where you learn all the characters.

How Can I Create Silhouettes Out of PowerPoint Images?

I built a silhouette game in PowerPoint and showed it to a teacher friend. She asked me this question. I hadn’t tried to do it in PowerPoint and wanted to know if it could be done. My preferred tool for making images is an image editor called Pixelmator. After being asked if I could make the silhouettes in PowerPoint alone, I wanted to try it. Sometimes we don’t have access to our normal tools, like when we use the company’s equipment in the office. After some playing around, I have worked out how to do it.

Make Images Into Silhouettes Using PowerPoint

Insert an Image

  1. Create a new PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Drag the image onto the slide.

Alternatively, you can add an image by going through the view menu.

  • Insert menu
  • Picture
  • Picture from file
infographic of two screenshots showing how to insert a picture into PowerPoint

Remove the Background From an Image in PowerPoint

You may need to remove the background from your image. If you do, you can also do this in PowerPoint using its Remove Background tool. PowerPoint should automatically switch to the Picture Format menu with the image selected. You should see the Remove Background button in the banner at the top.

  1. Click the Remove Background button.
  2. Click either Mark Areas to Keep or Mark Areas to Remove buttons.
  3. Click the Keep Changes button when you are done.
Infographic of three screenshots showing the remove background tools in PowerPoint

When you click the Remove Background button, PowerPoint will select what it thinks is the background and highlight those areas in pink. If this isn’t correct, you can add and remove areas by clicking either the Mark Areas to Keep or Mark Areas to Remove buttons. For This image, I selected the Mark Areas to Keep button. When you do this, you are given a pen tool. Draw on all the parts of your image you want to keep that PowerPoint selected and turned pink. Sometimes, this can be a little fussy, with you adding one part and PowerPoint removing another. Take your time; you can soon get your picture how you want it. When you are done, click the Keep Changes button.

infographic of three images showing the stages of removing the background.

Turn Images Into a Silhouettes

  1. Click on your image.
  2. Click on the Picture icon in the Format Picture pane.
  3. Click Picture Corrections
  4. Set Brightness to -100%

With the Image selected, you should see the Format Picture pane on the right. Click on the Picture icon. It looks like a little landscape painting. Click the Picture Corrections dropdown menu. Slide the Brightness bar to the left or type -100% in the percentage box.

infographic of three screenshots. showing how to set the brightness to -100%

Job done

That’s it. You must repeat this process with every image you want to turn into a silhouette.

Other Ways to Make Silhouettes


Pixelmator is my default image editor. I will use it for almost all image-related tasks. The purpose of this post was to explain how to make silhouettes in PowerPoint, so I won’t go into how to do it in this post. You can read how I make silhouettes from images in Pixelmator here.

Pixelmator: https://www.pixelmator.com/pro/


I have never used Photoshop, so I wouldn’t know where to start. I found an article on How to Turn Images Into Silhouettes With PhotoShop if this is your preferred tool and you want to know how to do it.

Photoshop: https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html

Other Tools

There are many other image editing tools out there. Here are a couple more if you don’t want to use Pixelmator or Photoshop

Final Thoughts

I have enjoyed learning how to turn images into silhouettes with PowerPoint, and it is useful to know how to do it when you cannot use your tools to make them. I won’t be switching from Pixelmator to PowerPoint for this task as I didn’t find the tools in PowerPoint to be that accurate, and I didn’t enjoy the fiddliness of cleaning up the image using the Remove Background tool.

3 responses to “How to Make Silhouettes in PowerPoint”

  1. […] my last post, I discussed how to Make Silhouettes in PowerPoint. Since then, I have been turning more and more images into silhouettes in preparation for a […]

  2. […] presentation. If you found this helpful, you might also like my other PowerPoint posts, such as How to Make Silhouettes in PowerPoint and How to Build and Use PowerPoint Flip Book […]

  3. […] How to Make Silhouettes in PowerPoint […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *