In this section we will introduce you how to turn the background transparent in Photoshop.
You want to make the background transparent in different occasions, such as creating a composite or inserting illustration. Professionals often use this technique.We will see how we can make the background transparent as well as saved files.
- Table of Contents
- 1. Set Background Transparent when Creating New File
- 2. Turn Background Transparent with Magic Eraser Tool
- 3. Turn Complex Background Transparent
- 4. Save Image while Keeping Background Transparent
- Reference: File Formats That Retain Transparency
This is a technique to make the background transparent initially. This is ideal when you know you want to make the background transparent from the beginning.
Select New and display new dialog box. Set the canvas color transparent and click OK.
Now you have a transparent background! The only thing you need to do is creating object over it.
You can see that the layer is not a background layer but a regular layer.(Retaled Articles:Know the Basic of Photoshop Layer)
If you are in the middle of work, use Magic Eraser Tool. Magic Eraser Tool turns the clicked pixel and ones with similar color transparent with a click. First, let’s see the case where the background is in single color.
1) Select the background layer 2) select Magic Eraser Tool and 3) click anywhere on the canvas.
The background turned transparent! It was easy, wasn’t it?
We will see how we can turn the complex background like below. We will also use Magic Eraser Tool but we will add some twist.
Like in Step02, select the background layer and select Magic Eraser Tool. Raise the acceptable value in the tool bar and uncheck [Adjacence].
The greater the acceptance value, the greater the range to be removed.
You cannot erase everything one shot so click Magic Eraser Tool several times. If it doesn’t work well, adjust the acceptance value.
Now the complex background turned transparent.
If you cannot erase everything with Magic Erase Tool, remove the remaining part with Eraser Tool.
We have seen how to turn the background transparent; this time we will introduce file formats that you can retain transparent background. Not all files can retain transparency. Below is the sum-up of the file formats.
|GIF||.gif||It retains transparency when saved. It has 256 colors and is ideal to save illustrations. File size is lighter than PNG.|
|PNG||.png||It retains transparency when saved. It has 16,870,000 colors and is ideal to save pictures and gradients that GIF cannot handle. The number of colors is much greater than GIF, however, the size would be much bigger.|
|Photoshop||.psd .pdd||This is an initial file format when creating a file in Photoshop. It retains transparency obviously but in order to publish it online, you need to transform it into GIF or PNG.|
Note that JPEG does not retain transparency when saving.
(The JPEG successor JPEG2000 can retain transparency. However, also note that you need to install an optional plug-in to use JPEG2000 with previous versions of Photoshop CS4.)