If you want to learn how to make a background transparent in Photoshop, there are a few steps to follow. Fortunately, the whole process is simple once you get the hang of the right tools. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from removing the background from an image to saving it with a transparent background.
We’ll be using Adobe Photoshop CC for this tutorial, but you should be able to follow these steps in most versions of Photoshop.
How to remove a background from an image in Photoshop
Before we can make the background transparent in Photoshop, we need to delete the existing background. If you’ve already done so, you can skip this step and follow the guide in the next section instead.
It is worth learning this step, though, so you can still read it to learn more about how to use Photoshop.
For this tutorial, we’ll be using a free photo from Pexels Follow the instructions with your own image to remove the background.
- First, find your photo on your computer, right-click the image and choose Open With> Adobe Photoshop.
- When the photo is added to Photoshop, you will need to remove the existing background. The best way to do this is to use the quick selection tool. Click the fourth icon at the bottom of the Photoshop Toolbar and then select the Quick Select tool to activate it. After that, you can simply press W to start using it.
- The Quick Select Tool is a powerful Photoshop feature that can calculate the edges of an image for you. In doing so, we want to select the object in the foreground. This way we can copy that part of the image and remove the background behind it. Just click and quickly drag an object and you will draw a line around it.
While the Quick Select tool does a great job of selecting edges, it’s not perfect. You will need to adjust your selection a little.
Below are some controls that can help you refine edges.
- Hold Alt + click / drag to remove areas
- Hold Shift + click / drag to add areas
- Use the scroll wheel to enlarge scale and get closer to the object.
For the best result, you should zoom in as close as possible and adjust the brush size. For small areas, click instead of dragging.
- With the desired option selected, press Ctrl + X. This will cut out the image so you can see if there are any areas you might have missed. In this case, press Ctrl + Z to repeat this step. Then just use the Quick Select tool to select that area. Keep doing this until you have selected the complete image.
- Now you need to press Ctrl + C to copy the image, then press Ctrl + V to paste it on a new layer.
- Then press F7 to open the Layers tab, if not already open. It should appear in the lower right corner of the screen. Click the eye icon next to the background layer to hide it.
- You will now remove the background in Photoshop. Before you take the final step of saving your work as a transparent image, you must erase any markings that may have been missed when cutting out the image. Press E to access the eraser and zoom in to thoroughly erase any mistakes.
- You can also reselect the Quick Select tool by clicking it in the toolbar and switching it to the Magic Wand Tool. This will make it easier for you to select areas of pixels of the same color in the image. This is useful to erase only unnecessary areas in the image.
How to save an image with a transparent background in Photoshop
Only certain file types support transparent backgrounds, so you’ll need to select the correct file when exporting your image to Photoshop. We recommend using PNG, which is a popular web format that can support transparent backgrounds and can be easily compressed to save disk space or network bandwidth.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + S to open the Save As window. Click the Save as type: drop-down box and select .PNG.
- Give your image a name. Make sure to keep the .png file extension.
- Click Save.
- A new window will appear – you can select “Large file size” and click “OK”. You will now have a new transparent PNG image on your computer in the location where you chose to save it.
When you upload this photo to the Internet, the background must remain transparent. Please note that some websites do not support transparent backgrounds. For example, if you upload a transparent Twitter profile picture, a white background is automatically added.
We hope our guide to creating transparent backgrounds in Photoshop helped you. If you get confused along the way, leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you to offer further assistance.