How to make Semi-Transparent Text

Have you ever wondered “how come I can’t make images semi-transparent anymore with Microsoft Office?”  Although I can’t tell you why you can’t make simple, semi-transparent images anymore in PowerPoint, I can tell you how to get around that.  Today we’ll be looking at using Text formatting to make semi-transparent text (which can then be used as watermarks on your documents or just really fun effects in PowerPoint).  Next, we’ll take a look at the same principle applied to images.

Text Boxes:

Text boxes are deceptive when you have them in Microsoft Word, you can’t change the transparency of the text, so for these, we’ll actually be working in Microsoft PowerPoint.  Start by adding a text box and writing whatever message you’d like in it.  Next, right click on the box and simply note the options given if you are simply selecting the box as a whole:

Notice how it gives you “Size and Position” followed by “Format Shape”.  This is important to note because these are NOT the options we want to see.  Instead, we want to see “Format Text Effects”.  The only time you’ll get this option is if you right click somewhere in the text box, on the text itself.

Notice how options have now changed.  Once you have this option however, you are ready for the next step.  Select “Format Text Effects” and on the page that appears, you’ll be given the option of using transparency, this is only directly related to the text itself (as opposed to the text box as a whole).  Once you change the transparency, you can start making some pretty interesting projects.

Once you’ve learned how to use the transparent text, you can use the “Fill” feature of the text box to add the background image (as seen above) and then modify the transparency from there.  This is only applicable if the background item is roughly the same size as the text (otherwise it will look pixelated or stretched/squashed).


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2 Responses to “How to make Semi-Transparent Text”

  1. Rick Stone says:

    I was hoping you would also address the issue of adding transparency to images. You hinted at it but I’m not seeing exactly where it was covered. All I’ve been able to do is to insert a shape, then use the image as a fill. Then apply transparency to the shape. Was hoping you had a more efficient way to do this.

  2. Wojtek says:

    Thanks! I was looking for exactly this info – MS makes it real hard to use some of their features…

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