Blur Text on a PowerPoint Slide

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 19, 2020

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

Blur is an artistic effect that you can apply to a picture in PowerPoint. However, artistic effects cannot be applied to text boxes or text placeholders. If you want to blur text in PowerPoint, you’ll need to cut the text object and then paste it back into PowerPoint as a picture. You will then be able to blur the text.

You can create some interesting effects if you combine animation with blur such as making clear text changing to blurred text and vice versa.

Recommended article: How to Match Colors in PowerPoint Using the Eyedropper

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.

Applying a blur effect to text

To apply a blur effect to a text object:

  1. In Normal View, select the text object by clicking its edge.
  2. Press Ctrl + X to cut it. You can also press Ctrl + C to copy it.
  3. Click on the slide and then click Paste on the Home tab in the Ribbon. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Select Paste Special. A dialog box appears.
  5. Select PNG and click OK or press Enter. PNG has a transparent background so it’s usually the best choice. You cannot apply blur to some of these image formats.
  6. Click the picture.
  7. Click the Picture Tools Format or Picture Format tab in the Ribbon and select Artistic Effects in the Adjust group. A drop-down menu appears.
  8. Select Blur (the last option in the second row).

You may still need to delete the original placeholder.

Select PNG in the Paste Special dialog box (although you can use other formats, PNG has a transparent background):

Paste Special dialog box in PowerPoint.

Blur appears in the Artistic Effects drop-down menu:

Blur in Artistic Effects in PowerPoint.

Increasing the blur

You can increase the blur applied to a picture 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.

You can achieve some interesting effects with blur with different types of images.

RELATED

How to Animate Text, Images and Other Objects in PowerPoint

How to Compress Images in PowerPoint to Reduce File Size (10 Ways)

How to Highlight Text with Emphasis Animation

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Summary
How to Blur Text on a PowerPoint Slide
Article Name
How to Blur Text on a PowerPoint Slide
Description
Blur is an artistic effect that you can apply to a picture in PowerPoint. If you want to blur text in PowerPoint, you'll need to cut the text object and then paste it back into PowerPoint as a picture. You will then be able to blur the text.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning Inc.

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