Making an Image with a Transparent Background

An often asked question is how to make a image have a transparent background.  The good thing is that the answer is it is relatively simple.  I’ve seen that a number of sites have appeared offering to take the background off your images for a fee – usually a few dollars or a couple of pounds per time (i.e. per image).

Whilst I can see this may be useful if it’s a particularly complex image (I stress may – I’m still not convinced!), I’ve never really had the need to call on one of these paid-for-image-transparent-background services on the Internet.

It really is quite simple to do, yourself, in the comfort of your own home.  No expensive software, specialist hardware or high power computer required – just follow these quick and simple steps.

Tools for the Job

Note: If you’ve already got Paint.net – feel free to skip onto the next section!

Windows Paint really isn’t going to cut it here unfortunately.  And for basic imaging needs Photoshop is not only pricey but totally overkill.  A great free piece of software to use is Paint.net – it’s like Windows Paint but with a few more extra bells and whistles.  If you don’t have it installed yet, go ahead and download it – it’ll make your life easier.

Let’s Begin

Open your image in Paint.net:

make-a-transparent-background-image-1

I doesn’t matter what type of image it is at the moment – for example in this case the image is jpeg (.jpg).  However, JPEG’s don’t support transparency – we’ll deal with this later when we’re saving.

Go to your toolbox – should be floating around the left hand side (unless you’ve moved it previously! 😉 ):

paint-net-toolbox

Grab your magic wand (by clicking it):

paint-net-wand

Click on your white background to select it:

make-a-transparent-background-image-2

Then press the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard and you should be left with a nice transparent background:

make-a-transparent-background-image-3

Notice the grey/white hatching effect where the white background used to be – this shows that those areas are now transparent.  As you can see, some parts of the white background haven’t been got yet.  To get to those additional white areas, use your magic wand to click on these areas and press ‘Delete’.

Once your happy go to save your image (‘Save As’ if you don’t want to overwrite your original image or you want to enter a new name or place in a new folder etc).

Select an image format that supports transparency (in this case I’ve chosen PNG):

paint-net-save-as-png

Rinse and repeat for all your images.  And voila!  You have your transparent images, it didn’t cost you a penny and it barely took any time at all!

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1 Response

  1. Sajjad Hosen says:

    Really appreciate great post. Using Photoshop to create a transparent background and then saving the file in the appropriate web-ready format is pretty easy once you know what you’re doing. We will walk you through this simple process in the tutorial below.

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