Photoshop make background transparent

by Design Workshop Sydney

Making the background of an image transparent, for example in a logo, is an easy matter in Photoshop. We show you how in our Adobe Photoshop coursesphotoshop-make-background-transparent
For example, the Volkswagon logo. Here we have the logo on a pure black background which will be easy to select. Select the Magic Wand tool and click on black area – all pixels of the same value are selected, ie. all the black. But of course we want the logo, not the black area. Therefore go to Select > Inverse. Then Edit > Copy, and Edit > Paste. Note that this creates a new layer. Click the eyeball (Layer Visibility) icon to see what’s on each layer. Then delete the background layer by dragging it onto the Trash icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Note now the checkerboard pattern around the logo – this indicates transparency. Then File > Save As: either a PSD, EPS, PNG, TIFF- basically anything except a JPEG, which will not support transparency.
A logo like the Design Workshop Sydney logo (above right) is a bit trickier. Again use the Magic Wand tool > and click on the white area. But note that not all the white is selected. Therefore change the Tolerance from the default of 32 (which is usually a good average tolerance to use) to 1. Click again in white area – note that the selection is better, but is still not perfect. Select > Inverse, just to make it easier to know whether to add or subtract from your selection. Next we need to switch to a different selection tool – try the Polygonal Lasso tool. Press Shift to Add to Selection (or click on the top left button on the Control panel), and click around the pixels you want to add to your initial selection. Note you can also press Alt (Mac: Option) to  Subtract from Selection. When you are happy with your selection Copy & Paste as above. And delete the original background layer. And save as before.
As you can see, making the background of an image transparent depends a lot on your selection skills, and these are always worth developing. See other blog posts for other selection techniques.
Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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