How to Remove a Logo Background in Keynote

I’m sure you have been there: It is 3am, you are making a very quick last-minute Keynote presentation and you need a logo of a client or a partner for it.

But you can’t find it online.

You try searching “logo transparent”, “logo png” or “logo svg” on Google and it just have never been uploaded like that, so it is not there. You can’t wait for your client or partner to send it and you need it very fast and small.

So, you download it with a background. If you are a designer there are a couple of ways to do it in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, but you are not, and you don’t have this kind of software.

And what do you do? You can just make the slide white and hope that would partially fix you problem.

Or… you can try Keynote’s function Instant Alpha.

How to remove background from a logo in Keynote

This is not ideal and would work only if you really can’t find another way. Also when the logo is small, so that small missing details won’t be missed that much really. Instant Alpha is the perfect tool for that.


Instant Alpha masking on Keynote

What this does is that you select a color and the program try’s to select all the pixels containing the same color. So, if you have a black logo with a white background it would very easily select the background.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Select the image
  2. Click on Format > Image
  3. Click Instant Alpha.
  4. With the cursor select the color area that you want to remove whilst dragging to increase or decrease the tolerance. You might want to do this a couple of times.
  5. Click Done.
  6. Click Edit Mask and resize the bounding box.


3 Exceptions in Keynote Instant Alpha and their Solutions

Like every rule, there are exceptions. Sometimes, the Instant Alpha feature won’t work as we just showed. For instance:

1. If the color of the logo is too light and there isn’t enough contrast.

The fix: Open the Advanced adjustments options and make the contrast 100% and Saturation -100%, this way the logo would be Black and white, then do the Instant Alpha steps from above. After that just click Reset and the logo is going to be back to the original color but cut.

2. If the logo has a vary small slogan or tiny details like Copyright mark.

The fix: I would just remove these as well. You don’t need them in your presentation most probably anyways. If you really do need them, then you will have to ask the company for the logo and wait.


3. If the logo is in way too low quality it won’t work.

The fix: To fix this, just try to find a better-quality photo. It is best to get it from the company’s website.


Disclaimer: It’s always best to ask the company for their logo before you start building your presentation and not play around with it. No brand manager or brand designer likes people doing whatever they want with their brand’s mark. This article is to help you out in a difficult situation with a great tool. We trust you won’t do anything stupid with the provided instruction. 😉

I hope this helps! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

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