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[Mini Skills] Creating Interesting Visuals by Highlighting An Element

October has been a visual month for me.

To start with, here in Ankara, Turkey, the leaves are changing colour, and the park just outside my window is a stunning mix of greens, yellows and reds.

Then, I spent time working on a product to help first-time online entrepreneurs get their websites up and running quickly and … beautifully.

This means having gorgeous images in the posts, sliders, sidebars and more.

But how does one get those images done, especially without Photoshop and not a graphic bone in their body?

Ask me.  I’m no designer, but through experimenting and learning, I can now create my own visuals.

My graphics are nowhere near expert standard, but they get me by … and done is better than perfect, right?

Today I’d like to focus on creating interesting images by highlighting one element in the image, using just Powerpoint.

For example, the image at the top of this post started out differently:


The Steps

  1. Start by choosing an image with an object or an element you’d like to highlight.
  2. Open a new Powerpoint presentation – although you can use an existing one.
  3. On a new slide, click Layout, and choose the blank layout.
  4. Insert your image on the slide by choosing Insert, Photo from File, and selecting the image from your computer.
  5. Select the image, and duplicate it, by clicking Copy, then Paste.
  6. Select the copy of the image, and remove background by clicking Format Picture, Remove Background.
  7. Now choose the original image, Format Picture, and choose Grayscale.  You can find it under Adjust Picture, or in the ribbon commands under Recolor.
  8. All that’s left now is to realign the two images, placing the grayscale one on the bottom, and the coloured one with the background removed on top.  To align the images, choose them both, then click Align Left, then Alight Top.
  9. You now have your image ready in Powerpoint.  To transfer it to an image file you can use elsewhere, Select All on the slide, then right click, and choose Save Picture.

See the video walk-through at the bottom of this post to watch over my shoulder as I do one of these manipulations.

Here are some ideas on how to use an image with a highlighted element in your online business:

  • Take a standard stock photo and make it more interesting by making the background sepia and foreground highly saturated for contrast.
  • Create a series by making the background grayscale, and tinting the foreground with different colours.  You could use the resulting images to denote different categories on your blog.
  • Place a word or text on the highlighted element to bring even more focus to an idea.

So – watch the video below, find a nice image to play with, and go put it to use!

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