Blur Images on PowerPoint Slides

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated October 19, 2019

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can achieve some interesting effects in your PowerPoint presentations by applying a blur effect to a picture. Blur is an artistic effect and you can increase the blur using the Format Picture task pane or dialog box. After you blur an image, you could then place shapes, text or even another picture on top of the image.

You may want to blur images to:

  • Add visual interest
  • Remove focus from an element on a slide
  • Create interesting backgrounds

Note: Some Ribbon tabs may appear with slightly different names if you are working on Office 365 and have a smaller screen or different display settings.

Recommended article: How to Crop an Image to a Circle in PowerPoint (Crop to Shape Method)

Applying a blur effect to a picture

To apply a blur effect to a picture:

  1. In Normal View, click the picture you want to blur. You could also select a picture in Slide Master View.
  2. Click the Picture Tools Format tab in the Ribbon and select Artistic Effects in the Adjust group. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Blur (the last option in the second row).

The Artistic Effects gallery appears as follows in PowerPoint:

Artistic effects gallery in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Increasing the blur

You can increase the blur applied to an image using the Format Picture task pane in PowerPoint 2013 and later versions:

  1. Right-click the blurred image and select Format Picture. A task pane appears.
  2. Click the Effects button at the top of the task pane.
  3. Click the arrow beside Artistic Effects to expand it.
  4. Drag the slider line beside Radius to increase the blur.

Below is the Format Picture task pane:

Fomrat picture task pane in Microsoft PowerPoint with blur applied.

You can increase the blur applied to an image using the Format Picture dialog box in 2010:

  1. Right-click the blurred image and select Format Picture. A dialog box appears.
  2. Click Artistic Effects in the categories on the left.
  3. Drag the slider line beside Radius to increase the blur.

The Format Picture dialog box displays as follows when Artistic Effects is selected:

Format picture dialog box in PowerPoint 2010. with blur applied.

Check out the following examples of pictures before and after a blur effect has been applied:

Two pictures of buildings in PowerPoint with second image with blur effect.

Two background images in PowerPoint with second image with blur effect.

Two pictures of clouds in PowerPoint with second image with blur effect.You can also combine other effects with blur such as brightness, contrast or color.

Blurred images can be used effectively as slide backgrounds. Simply blur the image, right-click it and select Save As Picture from the drop-down menu. Enter a new name for the image, save it in the desired folder and then insert it as a slide background.

Although you can blur pictures, you cannot blur text in the same way. You would need to copy the text and paste it as an image using Paste Special. Once the text has been pasted as an image, you would then be able to apply a blur effect to it.

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Summary
How to Blur a Picture in PowerPoint
Article Name
How to Blur a Picture in PowerPoint
Description
You can achieve some interesting effects in your PowerPoint presentations by applying a blur effect to a picture. Blur is an artistic effect and you can increase the blur using the Format Picture task pane or dialog box. After you blur an image, you could then place shapes, text or even another picture on top of the image.
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Publisher Name
Avantix Learning Inc.

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