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How to remove the background from a picture in Excel



Excel Logo on a gray background

By removing a distracting background from an image, your audience can focus on the subject. While it is not known for its image editing suite, you can do it with Microsoft Excel. Here’s how.

First, open the Excel application and insert a picture (Insert> Picture) with the background you want to remove.

Once inserted, you will automatically be taken to the “Image Format” tab. Here click on “Remove Background”, which you will find in the “Customize” group.

Once selected, the background of the image will appear magenta while the foreground remains untouched. The part of the image that is highlighted in magenta is the area to be removed.

RELATED: Remove the background from a picture in Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft Excel is generally pretty good at accurately highlighting the areas you expect to be removed from an image, but it isn’t always 100% accurate. In most cases you will need to make some minor adjustments.

To mark areas of the image that are not marked for deletion by default, click “Mark Areas to Delete” in the “Refine” group of the “Picture Format” tab. For areas that are marked that you want to keep, click Mark Areas to Keep.

Mark the areas to be deleted

In either case, your cursor turns into a drawing pencil once selected. Click and drag the cursor over the areas you want to delete.

Mark areas for deletion

Or click and drag the cursor over the areas you want to keep.

Mark areas to keep

Then click anywhere outside the image to reveal the changes.

The background of the image has now been removed.


After removing the background from the image, you will need to add alt text to the image so that your readers using a screen reader can understand the context of the image.




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