Selective Colour in Word 2010

by William Dawson

The following article is an updated version of the one published earlier this year.

Following on from my NYC Cabs Photo Essay and the use of selective colour, I have had several requests asking for a tutorial about selective colour in Microsoft Word.  In the first of my “How To” guides, I will be showing you how you can create your own selective colour photographs.

NB: This does not work on versions prior to Microsoft Word 2010.

First thing to do is open up a blank Word document and insert your picture.Then, open up another document and insert the same picture again as shown below.

Click on the left photo. It will help if you have set both pictures to Tight, which can be found under Wrap Text (circled below). Also make sure to select Send to Back, but only for this photo. Under the Picture Tools/Format tab click on Colour and select Grayscale.

Leave the black and white photo for now and go onto the other document. Again, go to the Picture Tools/Format tab but this time select Remove Background, on the far left. Once clicked a large portion of the photo should turn purple. Using the tools  (marked by the red box) you can mark areas to keep, remove and – should you make a mistake – a tool to delete a mark.

As you can see I didn’t have to add any marks to keep the flower; it was done automatically. However I did wish to keep the stem, so by using the Mark Areas to Keep tool I was able to successfully keep the stem, as shown below.

Once you have marked out the areas to keep, click Keep Changes and now, in my case, you are left with just the flower and the stem. Copy the picture and paste it in the other document, the one with the black and white photo. Carefully align the coloured image with the black and white photo.

Here is the end result:

I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Also, feel free to provide a link to your efforts in the comment section below.

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4 Responses to “Selective Colour in Word 2010”

  1. Excellent tutorial. I never realized you can do this on Word. Thanks for the tip.

  2. This is great! I also never knew you could do this on Word. I am gonna have to try it out.

  3. Really cool. I just tried it and it worked! :) I’m a newbie to photography and your post inspired me to take more photos! :)


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