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I want to cover over part of an image. Normally I do this by adding a rectangle shaped with the same colour as the background. This works fine when the background is a single colour.

However, in a particular PowerPoint house style the background has a gradient colour (from blue at the top to green at the bottom). Is there an easy way to add one (or multiple) shape(s) (particularly rectangles) that completely match the background?

Failing that - is there a simpler way to cover part of an image? (I'm using shapes so that, using animation, I can remove the shape and reveal the rest of the image.)

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After inserting the shape you're using to mask things out with, right-click it, choose to format the shape, then in the Fill section, choose Slide Background Fill.

If this option is not available (it is not for all objects), select Solid fill and set Transparency to 100%.

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Take a screenshot of the image containing the gradient, then paste that image over the top of whatever you're trying to mask.

You may need to crop the screengrab down to just a thin strip of gradient, and either scale that image to the size you need, or paste multiples until you've concealed the area you need to.

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  • This was my first thought. Problem is, if you are just one pixel out it is noticeable. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 5 '17 at 18:51
  • Zoom right in?! It can be difficult, yes. Powerpoint may not be the best tool for this - sounds like a job for a photo editor. – Andi Mohr Dec 6 '17 at 9:34

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