Pixel Perfect: How to replace text in pictures with gradients or solid backgrounds using PowerPoint

blog pictureLet’s say you have a picture with text that you need to update. Typically this will happen by accident – you have a great picture, and you accidentally save over your original with text added (happens to me all the time when building web-based training programs). Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the Clone Tool (or the eye dropper and paint brush tools for solid backgrounds) in Photoshop. But what if you do not have a photo editor with these tools?

You do not need Photoshop or a dedicated image editor to fix this – you can do it right in PowerPoint!

High-level steps:

  1. Duplicate the picture
  2. Align the picture (optional)
  3. Crop the picture
  4. Add new text (optional)

blog picture 2

  1. Duplicate the picture: Hold down Ctrl and Shift keys, and drag original image with mouse
    In my example, I moved the picture to the left. Moving it down or up would have impacted the gradient and could yield unpolished results.
  2. Align the images as needed: From the PowerPoint Format Ribbon
    • Format > Align > Align Left | Top | Etc
    • Line up the gradient backgrounds before editing (see illustration)
  3. Fix the background:
    • Select the top, cropped duplicate image
    • Picture Tools > Crop (Size Panel)
      Tip: You may want to group your two pictures!
  4. Insert a new text box object, and add your updated text.


blog picture 3

Important Tips:

  • You may want to save a blank copy after step 3!
  • Watch the file size. The original picture size is doubled with this technique! You may need to re-save and replace the picture.
  • For gradients, alignment and direction are key (not so critical with solid colors). If you make a mistake, it’s best to undo and try again.

blog picture 4


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