Lighten A Picture In Word

Sometimes the pictures you insert into a Word document will be too dark. Although Word 2013 is not an image editor, the program does offer some very useful image editing features to help you lighten a picture.

If you lighten a Picture in Word, only the instance of the picture in your document is affected; the original (perhaps on your hard drive) will remain in its original condition.

Make A Picture Lighter In Word

First of all select the picture by clicking on it. When you do, you should see the Picture Tools tab appear in the ribbon, with the Format tab within. Click on the Format tab to reveal all the picture formatting commands.

In the Adjust group over on the left of the ribbon, you will see the Corrections command.

Picture Corrections Command

When you click on the Corrections command, the corrections preset gallery opens; hover over any of the images to instantly see what effect that correction will have on your image. When you find one you like, click on it.

Corrections Gallery

In the corrections gallery there are different groups: sharpen/soften and brightness/contrast. It’s the brightness/contrast group that most interests us here.

This gallery presents us with a collection of settings that someone else has setup for us, but we do have finer control over those settings when we click on Picture Corrections Options (in the image above, at the bottom). When we do so, the Format Picture panel opens up on the right of the workspace, with the Picture Corrections tab open.

Format Picture Panel

There are several controls in this panel that let us increase or decrease:

  • sharpness
  • brightness
  • contrast

You can also choose some presets for sharpen/soften and brightness/contrast. At this point a good idea is to start playing around with the sliders for sharpness, brightness and contrast. Dragging a slider to the left will decrease its value whilst dragging the slider to the right will increase it. You can also enter a specific number into the corresponding input box, which represents a percentage.

Usually, you will find need to increase the contrast a little when increasing the brightness of an image.

A good idea to get a feel for how the different properties work is to choose a preset that is almost what you want and then tinker with the individual settings. For example, I’ve just chosen this option from the brightness/contrast category:

Gallery Select

… and the individual settings it gave me were:

  • brightness = 20%
  • contrast = 40%