When you print a presentation with transparent fills and graphics in Microsoft PowerPoint, the printed output may not look as good as the slide does on the screen. Instead, the transparent regions may appear grainy and jagged.
PowerPoint supports the use of high-quality images on screen, projector-driven presentations. This on-screen feature makes it more difficult to match the display on the screen with the printed output.
A feature that was added for on-screen presentations was support for true transparent blending. True support of transparency means that the color in a semitransparent pixel is blended with the color behind it. Transparency in graphics is available in PowerPoint in a number of ways: images, solid color fills, and gradient fades.
As of March 2003, there is a technological gap between screen and print support for transparent pixels. Printer technology does not support a color format that includes the transparency channel. Printers only support the following color formats: RGB, CMYK and grayscale. Printers cannot blend pixels together in the same manner that occurs for on-screen viewing.
If you are creating a presentation that is destined for printed output, the best workaround is to avoid using semitransparent objects if you can.
If you must use semitransparent objects, and if the way that PowerPoint simulates the transparent effect for print is not satisfactory, there are workarounds to blend the transparent pixels together before the effect is sent to the printer.
You can create an image of the slide or a portion of the slide. This blends transparent pixels together correctly when the image is created.
If there is only a small region of the slide that is covered with a semi-transparent object, and if that area has an opaque background, a better workaround is to group those shapes and then convert them to a single image. Again, this blends the transparent pixels together when you create the image.
Method 1: Convert the objects to an image
Select the items on the slide that you want to convert to an image.
Note To select multiple items, press and hold CTRL while you click each object.
Right-click one of the selected objects, point to Grouping, and then click Group.
On the Edit menu, click Cut.
Note In PowerPoint 2007, click Cut on the Home tab in the Clipboard group.
On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.
Note In PowerPoint 2007,click Paste on the Home tab in the Clipboard group, and then click Paste Special.
In the Paste Special dialog box, click Picture (PNG), and then click OK.
Reposition the image on the slide.
Method 2: Converting the whole slide to an image
If the transparency effect includes many objects on the slide, you can save the whole slide as a graphic and then print it separately or as part of the presentation.
On the File menu, click Page Setup.
Note In PowerPoint 2007, click Page Setup on the Design tab in the Page Setup group.
By default, PowerPoint saves all graphics that have a size of 540 by 720 pixels. To increase the size of the image for printing, you must increase the slide size.
One inch of slide size corresponds to 72 pixels. For the best-looking printed output, you have to make the slide size match the printer resolution. For example, if the printer has a printed resolution of 144 dots per inch, you would set the slide size to 20 inches wide by 15 inches tall.
Make sure that the slide that you want to save as a graphic is the slide that is visible in the slide pane.
On the File menu, click Save as.
Note In PowerPoint 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save As.
In the Save as dialog box, click PNG Portable Network Graphics format (*.png) in the Save as type box, and then click Save.
Note The PNG format uses a "lossless" compression algorithm that makes it more suitable for printing than other formats are.
Click Current Slide Only.
Notice that when the whole slide is saved as a PNG picture, you can reinsert the picture into the presentation as a picture on a slide, or you can print the image from a picture-editing program.