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Keynote Tutorial: Make presentations ‘pop’ using Instant Alpha

Cut the background out of your graphics and photos using the Alpha tool

Cutting out images from their background and laying them over other images can really add a touch of dynamism to your presentation. Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to do in Keynote using the Alpha tool. To make it easier still, make sure that the image you choose to cut out has a relatively clean background and that every edge is visible and defined. Once you’ve mastered how to do it, you could then add a subtle drop shadow to make it look even more three- dimensional. With some clever positioning, it’s possible to make an object look as though it’s actually jumping out at you. This tool can be really useful for business presentations too, for example if you want to remove the white box from a logo and lay it on top of another image or coloured background, it’s really easy to do and will look much more refined and professional. All you need to do now is follow this quick four-step tutorial to find out how.

1: Drag and drop
Select the image that you want to cut out from the Media panel and drag it onto your presentation. Remember to choose something with fairly defined edges.

2: Alpha
Select the Alpha tool at the top of the interface, click on the background of the image and drag, selecting the area you want to remove. You can do this as many times as you need.

3: Mask off and reposition
When the background has been removed, you can mask off any odd bits around the edge (we had some left over snow in the corner) using the mask tool. Resize and position your image.

4: Shadow
Go to the Graphics Inspector and add a drop shadow to your cutout to make it look even more three-dimensional. We used a 4px offset, a 10px blur and 50% opacity to make it subtle.