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I have written many documents created in Microsoft Word, some of which included graphics inserted into the document. I have become very familiar with the many different functions of the program and I have not been impressed with Words ability to edit graphics in a document. I have needed more capability to edit these graphics. This is how I discovered Apple Pages and the fantastic editing tools this program provides. I will show you how to use my favorite tool, the Instant Alpha function. This tool enables making a pictures background, or other unwanted portions of the picture, transparent. I have provided a step-by-step tutorial with pictures and instructions but I also provide a short video tutorial at the end of the instructable.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Open the Pages Program

First, we need to open the Pages program.

Select "New document."

Choose a template, I normally use the blank template for all my documents.

Step 2: Insert Media

To insert the photo you wish to use in your document, select "media." Locate the file you wish to insert. This photo is of my girlfriend and myself at the beach, at night.

Step 3: Select Instant Alpha

I want to make the black, night background disappear. To do this, I need to locate the Instant Alpha tool. If it does not appear as mine is in the photo, be sure you have selected the image tab that is highlighted in blue. (Notice the many of other editing functions available above and below Instant Alpha. These are really useful as well.)

Step 4: Proceed to Instant Alpha

Once you have selected the Instant Alpha tool. You can press and drag the portion of the photo you wish to make transparent. You will see the color changing what part of the photo you are editing. Once you are satisfied with your editing, press done and this will apply the changes you have made.

I used the tool on the black background as you may notice it disappears in the pictures.

Step 5: Instant Alpha With Text

This is the outcome of using this tool with text. I really like that once the tool is utilized, it enables the text to wrap around the photo. You can use this function to isolate other items in the graphic to expose the subject you wish to present.

Step 6: My Projects

I used this on a project involving several pictures of machinery like this crane. I was able take the space the background used and fill it with text which provided a more connected effect between the text and photo. This function effectively created a better visual experience for my audience.

The photo in its original form is large with a lot of wasted space. Using this tool eliminates that characteristic and adds another dimension to your document using graphic effects, which your audience will appreciate. It makes it easier to communicate through visual expression.

I hope you can enjoy this tool as much as I do! If you have other ways of using this tool, I would love to hear from you! Have fun!

<p>This looks like a useful tool. Thanks for sharing!</p>

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