How to add blur or transparency to an image in Microsoft Word

When placing text over a graphic in Microsoft Word, you may need to take an additional step. If you add some blurring or transparency, your readers can still see the picture, but your text will be more readable.

Happily, Word has some built-in photo editing tools that can help. You can add a more subtle look to this image with a tweak or two. Whether you want to blur the image or make it more transparent, we have it all for you.

Add blur to an image in Word

Add blur to an image in Word will soften its appearance. Select the image and open the image adjustment options using either of these two methods.

  • Right-click, choose Format Picture, and choose the picture icon in the sidebar.

  • Go to the Image Format tab, click “Corrections” and select “Image Correction Options”.

On the Picture Format tab, click Adjustments, and then click Options

If necessary, expand Image Adjustments in the Format Image sidebar. Then, under Sharpen / Blur, use the Sharpness slider or percentage box to decrease the sharpness.

Adjust sharpness

You will immediately see the adjustment to the sharpness. You can move the slider further or use the arrows if necessary.

Blurred picture before and after

To restore the image to its original appearance, click Reset at the bottom of the Image Adjustments section of the sidebar.

Reset the sharpness

Adding transparency to an image in Word

Perhaps you’d prefer to make your image more transparent than blurring it out for your particular document. You can do this in the same area as above.

Open the Format Picture sidebar using one of the methods above and expand Picture Transparency.

How to insert a picture into a text in Microsoft Word

You can use one of the presets for quick transparent application. Alternatively, you can use the slider or the percentage field for minor adjustments.

To use a preset, click the Presets arrow and choose an option. You will see choices from 95 percent down to zero.

Transparency presets in Word

If you want to make fine adjustments or gradually add transparency, use the slider or percentage box. You can enter a percentage in the field or use the up and down arrows.

Adjust the transparency

As with adding blur to an image, you’ll see the changes instantly. This allows you to make further adjustments if necessary.

Transparency before and after

To restore the image to full transparency, move the slider to zero percent or select “Transparency: 0%” in the list of preferences.

Set the transparency to zero

If you’re using PowerPoint instead of. use Word, it is helpful to know how to blur a picture or make a picture transparent in PowerPoint.

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