Colour images are great, but they can also cause too much distraction from the text in your document. In such a case, you may want to use Microsoft Word to convert the image to black and white.

The ability to remove color from a picture in Word has existed for many years, but these days it’s simpler and has more options than ever. Microsoft Word has several preset filters you can use to get varying black and white or sepia outputs.

One popular reason to make a picture black and white is for printing in greyscale. Though you can simply tick a “black and white” option on most printers, it doesn’t always turn out as you expect. If you convert an image to black and white before printing it, you can be sure what you print will more or less resemble what’s on your screen.

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How to Make a Color Picture Black and White in Word

To follow this guide, you’ll need a Word document open with any color image inserted. If you haven’t yet done this, take a second to grab an image from Google and copy and paste it in.

  1. Click your image, press the “Picture Format” tab, and click “Color”

    Once your image is selected, the “Picture Format” tab will appear on the far-right of your Microsoft Word ribbon. The “Color” button should be on the right-hand side of the tab once it’s open.

  2. Convert the image to black and white in Word


    You’ll see a “Color Saturation” heading, with the option on the far right allowing you to turn the picture greyscale. You can click this if it’s what you’re after or look under the “Recolor” tab for more options. This will give you choices such as pure black and white and sepia.

  3. Check your black and white image


    When you make a picture black and white it doesn’t always turn out how you expect. Check the result in your Word document to see if you’re happy. If you’re not, continue to the next step and we’ll show you how to color it again. 

  4. Reset your black and white picture to color


    The great thing about Word is that picture editing is non-destructive. If you don’t like the way your picture looks, you can click “Reset Picture” in the “Picture Format” tab to return it to normal.

  5. Enjoy your re-colored image



    With that, we’re done. Have a play around with the options and see if you can find something that suits your taste. Once you’re done, you may want to follow our guides to set the image as your document or lock screen background.

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