How to Change a Black-and-White Picture to Color in PowerPoint

Adding color to old black-and-white photos can bring new life to your PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint includes built-in tools to easily convert black-and-white images to color right within the application.

In this blog post, you’ll learn step-by-step how to change a black-and-white picture to color using PowerPoint’s artistic effects. We’ll cover:

  • Downloading a sample black-and-white image
  • Adding the picture to a PowerPoint slide
  • Using the Color Saturation and Temperature effects
  • Adjusting the image settings
  • Saving your colorized photo

Whether you’re creating a history presentation or just want to add some visual interest, converting black-and-white images into color can make your PowerPoint really stand out. Let’s get started!

Download a Black-and-White Photo

First, you need a black-and-white photo. For this tutorial, we’ll use this photo of the Golden Gate Bridge from Pixabay:

Golden Gate Bridge black and white photo


Feel free to use your own black-and-white image instead. Just make sure it’s saved on your computer so you can add it to PowerPoint.

Add Photo to PowerPoint

Next, launch PowerPoint and insert a new blank slide. Click the Insert tab, select Pictures, and choose your black-and-white photo from your computer files.

This adds the picture to the slide. Drag the corners to resize it as needed.

Use Color Saturation Effect

Here’s where the magic happens! With your image selected, go to the Picture Format tab.

Click Color and choose the Saturation effect. This instantly adds color back into the photo.

Color saturation effect in PowerPoint

You can adjust the saturation level by moving the slider. Try different levels until you achieve the desired color intensity.

Adjust Color Temperature

The saturation effect might give the image an unwanted color tint. To fix this, go back to Color and select the Temperature effect instead.

Move the slider toward the red or blue end to color correct. The right adjustment makes the image colors look more natural:

Adjust color temperature slider in PowerPoint

Use the saturation and temperature tools together to find the right color balance.

Tweak Image Settings

At this point, your black-and-white picture should be in full color. But you can further improve the image with PowerPoint’s picture tools.

Try adjusting these settings on the Picture Format tab:

  • Sharpness – Increase sharpness to bring out more detail
  • Brightness and Contrast – Boost brightness and contrast for better definition
  • Color tone – Choose a different color tone like warm or cool

Keep tweaking until the image looks just right for your presentation.

Save Color Photo

When you finish colorizing and enhancing the photo in PowerPoint, right click it and choose Save as Picture to save your new color photo file to your computer.

If needed, you can reopen this file later to make additional adjustments.

And that’s it! As you can see, PowerPoint makes converting black-and-white photos into color a breeze.

Tips for Best Results

Here are some tips to get the best results when changing black-and-white pictures to color in PowerPoint:

  • Work with high-quality images for better colorization
  • Adjust saturation and temperature together to improve colors
  • Go easy on other color effects like sepia or recolor
  • Avoid increasing brightness too much to prevent wash out
  • Use contrast sparingly as too much reduces detail
  • Change color tone to warm or cool for customizable tints
  • Soft proof images on different monitors to check colors

With a little practice, you’ll be expertly colorizing photos in your PowerPoint decks.

More Creative PowerPoint Ideas

Changing black-and-white pictures to color is just one creative way to enhance your PowerPoint presentations:

  • Animations – Use animations to make objects move or fade onto slides
  • Icons – Include flat icons and illustrations to add visual interest
  • Videos – Embed online videos for more multimedia engagement
  • Shapes and charts – Design custom diagrams, flowcharts, layouts, and graphs
  • Themes – Change the slide theme for unique fonts, colors, and design styles

Bring together some colorized photos with these other creative elements, and your PowerPoint presentations will really stand out and engage your audience.


That wraps up this step-by-step tutorial on converting black-and-white images into color right within PowerPoint.

As you saw, it just takes a few clicks using the built-in artistic effects tools. Adjust saturation, temperature, sharpness, brightness, contrast, and color tone to create a vibrant, realistic color photo.

Changing old photos from black-and-white into color is a really eye-catching way make your PowerPoint presentations pop.