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How do I change the transparency in google?

Changing the transparency or opacity of images in Google apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides can be useful for creating visual effects or making text stand out. Here are some tips for adjusting transparency in Google products on both desktop and mobile.

Adjusting Image Transparency in Google Docs

Google Docs makes it easy to adjust image transparency without needing any special software or plugins. Here are the steps:

  1. Insert the image you want to edit into your Google Doc.
  2. Click on the image to select it.
  3. In the upper right corner of the image, click the dropdown arrow.
  4. Select “Image options” from the dropdown menu.
  5. Under “Transparency,” use the slider to adjust the opacity percentage. Lower percentages make the image more transparent.
  6. Click “Apply” to save your changes.

The transparency slider allows you to set the opacity anywhere from 0% (fully transparent) to 100% (fully opaque). Play around with different settings to get the effect you want.

Making Images Transparent in Google Slides

The process for adjusting image transparency in Google Slides is very similar:

  1. Insert the image onto a slide.
  2. Click the image to select it.
  3. Click the “Image options” icon in the toolbar above the slide (it looks like a diamond shape split down the middle).
  4. Under “Transparency,” use the slider to adjust the opacity percentage.
  5. Click outside the image to deselect it and save your changes.

This gives you the same 0-100% transparency range to make images fade into the background. Note that transparency works best for PNG images with already transparent areas.

Changing Cell Transparency in Google Sheets

In Google Sheets, you can adjust the transparency of cells to make parts of your spreadsheet fade into the background. Here’s how:

  1. Select the cells you want to edit.
  2. In the “Paint format” section, click the downward arrow.
  3. Choose “Custom color…” from the dropdown menu.
  4. In the color picker that appears, adjust the transparency slider to set the opacity percentage.
  5. Click “Done.”

The transparency effect will be applied to the selected cells. This can be useful for deemphasizing parts of your spreadsheet or making overlayed text stand out.

Other Ways to Adjust Transparency

In addition to the built-in options, there are some other ways to modify transparency in Google products:

  • In Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can right click an image and choose “Order” > “Send to back” or “Bring to front” to layer images behind or in front of text.
  • In Google Drawings inside Docs, you can stack shapes on top of each other and adjust the transparency of each individually.
  • The Chrome browser extension ninja: Image Alpha lets you easily remove white backgrounds from images to make them transparent.
  • Some Google Docs add-ons like Photo Slice and Imago provide more advanced transparency tools.
  • Screenshot images often have transparent backgrounds if you capture only a portion of your screen.

Changing Transparency on Mobile

The Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android and iOS make it easy to adjust transparency on mobile devices:

  • In Docs, tap an image, then tap the settings icon (three vertical dots) > Transparency to adjust opacity.
  • In Slides, select an image, tap “Style settings” (paint roller icon) > Transparency to set opacity.
  • In Sheets, select cells, tap the paint roller icon > Color > Transparency to change opacity percentage.

The user interface is slightly different, but the overall process works the same. The mobile apps give you the same transparency controls as the desktop versions.

Tips for Using Transparency

Here are some tips for getting the most out of transparency effects in Google products:

  • Subtle transparency (80-90% opacity) can create nice overlays without hiding too much content.
  • Very low opacity (0-40%) works well for watermarks and background images.
  • Use transparency to make colors or text stand out over images or colored shapes.
  • Stack multiple transparent layers for layered visual effects.
  • Be careful with very transparent text as it can be hard to read if overlaid on a busy image.
  • Change the transparency of icons, logos, and other graphics to brand your documents.

Transparency Use Cases

Adjusting transparency in Google products can serve many purposes, such as:

  • Watermarks: Make a light watermark graphic to brand your documents.
  • Backgrounds: Set a color or image as a transparent background layer.
  • Overlays: Display text or graphics over partially transparent shapes or images.
  • Charts/graphs: Show different data series with varying transparencies to aid comparison.
  • Photos: Make selected portions of an image transparent to highlight key subjects.
  • Presentations: Slowly fade bullets in and out during slide transitions.

Don’t be afraid to experiment – transparency can add visual flair and help focus attention on important elements in your documents, spreadsheets, and slides.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Transparency

For quick access to transparency controls, use these handy keyboard shortcuts:

Google Product Platform Shortcut
Google Docs Windows/ChromeOS Ctrl+Shift+O
Google Docs Mac Cmd+Shift+O
Google Slides Windows/ChromeOS Ctrl+Shift+O
Google Slides Mac Cmd+Shift+O

These shortcuts take you directly to the transparency slider for the selected object, saving you clicks!

Alternatives to Built-In Transparency

While the built-in transparency options work well, there are some alternatives you can use:

  • Online transparency tools: Remove backgrounds from images before importing into Google Docs and Slides.
  • Graphics editors: Use Photoshop, GIMP, etc. to set transparencies before uploading images.
  • Drawing tools: Illustrator, Inkscape allow transparency in vector images and designs.
  • Pixelmator: Mac app for advanced image editing with transparency support.
  • Preview (Mac): Built-in image transparency tools.
  • Format cells as text: Hide Sheets cells by formatting them as text with the same fill.

While these require more specialized software, they provide finer control over image formats like PNG that support transparencies.

Common Questions about Transparency

How do I remove the background from an image to make it transparent?

Use an online background remover like or graphics editor like GIMP. Or select the background and delete it in Google Docs or Slides using the cropping tool.

Is there transparency in Google Drawings?

Yes, Google Drawings inside Docs allows adjusting the opacity of individual shapes. Right click on a shape and choose “Transparency” to change it.

Why isn’t the transparency working in my Google Slides?

Transparency shows best on PNG images with transparent areas. JPG and other formats may not support transparency – try converting the image or adding a transparent shape behind it.

Can I adjust transparency on Android/iPhone?

Yes, the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android and iOS provide transparency controls under image formatting options.

Is there a transparency option for Google Forms?

Unfortunately no, Google Forms does not currently support adjust transparency or opacity. You’ll need to use another tool.


Adjusting transparency in Google products like Docs, Sheets, and Slides can help you create more engaging documents, graphs, presentations, and more. Play around with the opacity sliders to find what works best for your needs. Just remember that subtle transparencies often look more professional than overdone effects. With the steps above, you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of transparency tools across Google’s suite of free productivity apps.