How to Remove Image Fill or Backgrounds in Microsoft Word

How to Remove Image Fill or Backgrounds in Microsoft Word How to Remove Image Fill or Backgrounds in Microsoft Word

Adding images to documents in Microsoft Word can greatly enhance the visual appeal and help convey information more clearly. However, sometimes the background of an image can be distracting or take away from the main focus. Fortunately, Word provides easy tools for removing image backgrounds right within the application.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to remove image fills and backgrounds in Word, across different versions like Word 365, 2019, 2016 and more.

Select the Image and Access Formatting Tools

The first step is to insert the image you want to edit into your Word document. You can do this by going to Insert > Pictures and selecting the file.

Once inserted, click on the image to select it. This will bring up the Picture Tools formatting tab.

In Word 365/2019/2016, look for the “Picture Format” tab. In older versions like Word 2013 and 2010, you’ll see a “Format” tab instead. This tab provides all the necessary tools for editing images.

If you don’t see these tools after clicking the image, make sure only one image is selected. The formatting tab only shows when a single image is chosen.

Use the Remove Background Tool

With the image selected, go to the Picture Format (or Format) tab and click “Remove Background.” This tool will automatically detect and highlight the image background for removal.

Areas marked in magenta will be deleted, while normally colored portions will remain. Review this initial selection and make any adjustments, if needed.

Refine the Selection

If the initial background selection isn’t quite right, use the “Mark Areas to Keep” and “Mark Areas to Remove” tools.

Click and drag over portions of the image to manually include or exclude them from the background removal. Take your time to carefully trace the edges.

Toggle between these options to get the selection looking exactly as you want. Any mistakes can be erased by clicking “Delete Mark.”

Finalize Your Edited Image

Once satisfied with the preview, click the “Keep Changes” button to finalize the background removal.

The image will now appear in your document without the distracting background. Save your Word file to preserve the edited version.

If you need to make additional tweaks later, simply reaccess the Remove Background tool and continue adjusting as needed.

Extra Tips for Great Results

Follow these tips for best results when removing backgrounds in Word:

  • Work with high-quality images for cleaner edge detection
  • Adjust mark sensitivity to better differentiate foreground and background regions
  • Use solid fill backgrounds behind the image for easiest removal
  • Try different automated and manual selections until the subject is perfectly isolated

Quick Video Demonstration

Here is a brief video summarizing the steps to remove a picture background in Word:

As you can see, it’s very simple to delete distracting backgrounds from your images directly within Microsoft Word.


Removing image fills and backgrounds is fast and easy with the built-in Remove Background tool in Word. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can cleanly eliminate solid color backdrops or busy patterns from your pictures.

Carefully refining the initial automated selection ensures you end up with a perfect cutout of the main image subject. For best results, work with high quality photos and adjust settings until the foreground subject is flawlessly isolated from the background.

So next time you need to remove an image background in Word, don’t open up Photoshop – just use the handy features included right in the application!

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