Picture Filters, PowerPoint Style

Written by Mike Enders — Posted in Articulate 101, Community

When I was browsing a social media site recently, I was struck by the stunning imagery posted by some users. Not the images themselves but the treatments on them: fades, light effects, sepia tones, vintage looks, and more. These effects add a depth and expression that turn simple shots into compelling stories.

So how can you apply effects like these to images in your e-learning project? You have a few options. You can use a free online tool, such as PicMonkey or Pixlr. Or you can whip up your own custom designs in PowerPoint—and it’s simpler than you think.

In fact, apps like Instagram just layer different effects to create that magical look. You can do the same by layering artistic effects, colors, and shapes right in PowerPoint (2010 or later).  Both conversions in this blog post were done completely in PowerPoint 2010.

To build your effects, follow this basic formula:

  • Insert your image into PowerPoint
  • From the Format Picture menu, select Artistic Filter and choose one to apply
  • Copy the image and paste elsewhere on your slide as a picture
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 as often as you want to build your look
  • Once you’ve created the look you want, add shapes, frames, or other effects

I’ll show you how easy it is to create your own artistic imagery in this screencast:

Watch this screencast on Screenr.com

Go ahead, let those creative impulses run free. While smartphone apps are great, you can create your own awesome looks in PowerPoint to make your next e-learning project shine. And when you’re done, post your work in E-Learning Heroes for all the Articulate community to see!

2 responses to “Picture Filters, PowerPoint Style”


Great tips Mike! For the final steps, I would consider keeping each iteration of the frame and just moving it off the slide. That way you can have something like a history in case you want to go back to a specific filter. Nobody sees that gray area during the slide show anyway!

Sean Nufer // Posted at 3:09 pm on March 7th, 2013


That’s a great idea. Funny thing is, I actually thought about that when I was doing the Screenr. But then I looked down, saw my 5 minutes quickly waning and the little “come on, hurry!” voice started running through my head. 😉

Thanks for sharing the thoughts!

Mike // Posted at 3:59 pm on March 7th, 2013

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