How to Make the Background of a PNG Transparent

We’ve all been there. You have an upcoming presentation, so you chose a sleek background and a professional-looking font.

To add more flavor and detail, you decided to add images, maybe some icons, graphs, or your business’s logo. All seemed perfect—except for the annoying white background on some of the pictures.

This article will discuss the various tools you can use to make a transparent PNG.

What Is a PNG file?

A portable graphics format, or PNG file, is a popular format used on the internet for many reasons. It uses a 24-bit RGB color palette that supports millions of colors and utilizes lossless compression. This allows you to reduce an image’s file size without losing its quality.

These features make PNG an ideal file type to use for logos, icons, and digital art. Most importantly, PNG is a crowd favorite because it supports transparent backgrounds.

Colors (including white) fill all the pixels in a regular image. But in a PNG file, you can make it so that there are no colors in the background pixels. This allows the color behind your image to show through. Below is an example.

The Shiba Inu on the left is the original photo, the middle is the image with a white background, and the one on the right is an image with a transparent background.

However, since our site’s background is white, you won’t appreciate the transparent background of the rightmost image. You can, however, download this image and view it on your device.

Below, we’ll go over three tools you can use to make a PNG transparent.

1. Adobe Photoshop

You can do a lot of things with Adobe Photoshop, and removing image backgrounds is one of them. Removing backgrounds with Photoshop is very easy and will only require a few clicks.

There are several ways to remove an image’s background in Photoshop. Let’s go over them.

Use the Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool is a selection tool that automatically selects pixels of similar tones or colors. Here’s how to use it to remove an image’s background:

  1. Open your image with Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Click and hold the Quick Selection Tool on the Tools panel. Choose the Magic Wand Tool from the dropdown menu.
  3. Adjust the Tolerance to the desired level. You can experiment with the tolerance level as you go along.
  4. You will see a plus (+) icon as you hover your cursor over the image. Click on the areas you want to remove. The areas enclosed with running broken lines represent what you’ve selected.

    Background Remover with Adobe PS Magic Wand Tool

  5. Use the cut command (Ctrl + X on Windows or Cmd + X on Mac) to remove the selected areas.
  6. Click File > Save As to save your image, ensuring that the PNG format is selected.

Related: Creating and Working With Vector Graphics in Adobe Photoshop

Use the Magic Eraser Tool

The Magic Eraser Tool is like the Magic Wand Tool in that it selects similar-looking pixels. But unlike the Magic Wand, the Magic Eraser’s sole purpose is to remove its selection.

  1. Open your image with Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Click and hold the Eraser Tool on the Tools panel. Choose the Magic Eraser Tool from the dropdown menu.

    Background Remover with Adobe PS Magic Eraser Tool

  3. Change the Tolerance. You can experiment with the tolerance level as you use the tool.
  4. Click the areas you want to remove, and the Magic Eraser will remove them.
  5. Click File > Save As to save your image, ensuring that the PNG format is selected.

Use the Lasso Tool

The Lasso Tool is another selection tool that lets you outline the specific area that you want to select. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open your image with Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Click the Lasso Tool on the Tools panel. Hold and drag your cursor around the object you want to remove from the background.

    Background Remover with Adobe PS Lasso Tool

  3. Create a new layer by clicking the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Make sure that the new layer is transparent. You’ll know it’s transparent if it displays a checkered white and gray fill instead of a solid color fill.
  4. Select the Move Tool on the Tools panel, click the selected image, and cut and paste it onto the new transparent layer.
  5. Delete the layer with the background.
  6. If part of the background remains, remove it with the Magic Eraser or the Magic Wand Tool.
  7. Once you’re done polishing the image, choose File > Save As to save your image. By default, Adobe Photoshop will save the image in PSD format. Instead, save it in PNG format.

2. Adobe Photoshop Express

If you don’t want to pay for Adobe Photoshop, you can always try Adobe Photoshop Express, Adobe’s free online image editor.

However, the tool only allows you to edit and download one image without signing in or creating an account. If you will be editing more than one image, you’ll need to sign in or create a free account.

  1. Go to Adobe Photoshop Express.
  2. Select Edit photos now > Upload file.
  3. Find and upload the photo you want to edit.
  4. Select Remove background beneath the Edit Image options on the left.
  5. Photoshop will automatically remove the background.
  6. You can save the image as-is or replace the background with other colors. If you make any changes, make sure to click Apply to save them.

    Adobe PS Express background remover

  7. Once done, save your image and download it by clicking the Download button at the top of the screen.
  8. Add a name for your image, choose PNG for the file format, and move the slider to adjust the image quality. When you’re ready, click Download.

3. Canva

You can also use Canva, an online design tool, to remove the background of your image. However, Canva’s Background Remover Tool doesn’t come with a free account.

Upgrading to Canva Pro has many benefits, but if you’re not ready to commit, you can always try the one-month free trial. Once you have a Canva Pro account (or a free trial), follow these steps to make your PNG’s background transparent:

  1. Head to Canva, and click Create a Design in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select Edit photo at the bottom of the menu, and choose the image you want to edit. Once your image is uploaded, choose Edit photo once again.
  3. You will be brought to a new tab. Select the image, and then choose Effects on the top menu bar.
  4. Select Background Remover on the top-left. You can use the Erase or Restore button if you need some parts removed or restored.

    Remove a background with Canva

  5. Once done, tap Download on the upper right corner of the screen. Choose PNG as the file type and tick Transparent background.

Knowing How to Make a PNG Transparent Is Useful

It’s important to know how to remove the background of a PNG, especially if you’re creating a presentation, making digital art, or uploading a product for your e-Commerce business. With just a few clicks on your photo, you’ll have your polished image in no time!

Author: Rachel Melegrito

Source: Rachel Melegrito.” How to Make the Background of a PNG Transparent”. Retrieved From

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