Why can't we see a transparent object

Guide: How to Remove the Background of an Image in Photoshop or PowerPoint

When creating marketing material, photos and illustrations are essential. However, many of these images have an inappropriate or annoying background that must first be removed or made transparent so that the image can be placed on the desired background.

For example, take a look at the photo on the left above. Without the annoying background (see photo on the right), this image could ideally be used for a call-to-action, a SlideShare presentation, a blog post or an e-book.

If you z. For example, if you downloaded one of our free stock photos that could be used more versatile with a transparent background, here's how you can optimize this image.

All you need is Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft PowerPoint. These programs allow you to remove the background of an image in a few simple steps. Below you will find step-by-step instructions for both applications. It is a good idea to test these steps with any image first to familiarize yourself with how to do it.

Since not all of you will have Photoshop installed, let's turn to PowerPoint first, as this program will be available in almost every company. Alternatively, you can skip this part and go straight to the Photoshop instructions.

Remove the background of an image in PowerPoint

Instructions - Remove image background in PowerPoint:

  1. First thing in PowerPoint, click on the picture to select it. Then, under Format (on a Windows PC) or Format Picture (on a Mac) in the menu bar, click Crop or Remove Background.
  2. PowerPoint now automatically removes the background - but not always perfectly.
  3. Use the options in the toolbar to mark the areas that you want to keep or remove.
  4. When you have marked all areas, simply click anywhere outside the image to view the result.
  5. Then save the image as a PNG file to keep the background transparent.

Please note that you need Microsoft Office 2010 or a newer version for this method. Please also keep in mind that PowerPoint is not a specialized image editing program and is therefore not quite as sophisticated as Photoshop. This procedure will therefore not necessarily work for very complex photos. However, if you do not have Photoshop or do not have the time and leisure to deal with new software, this option can serve as a simple alternative.

1. Open the picture in PowerPoint.

Images with a white / monochrome background or a high contrast between the background and the object are easiest to edit in PowerPoint.

 

2. First, in PowerPoint, click the image to select it. Then, under Format (on a Windows PC) or Format Picture (on a Mac) in the toolbar, click Crop or Remove Background.

3. PowerPoint now automatically removes the background - but not always perfectly.

4. Use the options in the menu bar to mark the areas that you want to keep or remove.

If PowerPoint removes unwanted areas, such as part of the upper body in the picture above, do the following: Use the white dots to enlarge the box that was added on the picture until it includes all the areas that you want to keep.

The purple highlighted areas are removed at the end. Click the option on the toolbar "Mark areas to be removed"to select additional areas to be removed. These are then marked with a minus sign. If areas that you want to keep are incorrectly marked purple, you can use the option "Mark areas to keep" mark accordingly. The areas are then marked with a plus sign.

If you zoom in on the photo, you can select the areas even more precisely. You can also make finer corrections in this way:

If you accidentally mark an area incorrectly, you can easily deselect it by selecting "Clear Mark" and clicking on the associated plus or minus sign.

5. When you have marked all areas, simply click anywhere outside the image to display the result.

6. Save the image as a PNG file to keep the background transparent.

Remove the background of an image in Photoshop

Since Photoshop offers much more versatile options for image editing than PowerPoint, you have various options for removing the background of an image. Each of these options is suitable for a specific type of image or object. Click on one of the links below for instructions for the appropriate method:

The Polygon Lasso Tool - for objects with straight edges

Let's say you want to remove the blue background from that stop spam sign (including the post).

Since the motif only has straight edges, the best way to remove the background here is with the polygonal lasso. To make the blue background (and silver post) transparent, do the following:

1. Open the image in Photoshop.

To do this, you can drag and drop the image into the Photoshop window or open it via the "File" menu. You then convert the image into a “smart object” and then rasterize it. To do this, proceed as follows:

Click on the Photoshop menu "Level", then on "Smart Objects" and select the option "Convert to Smart Object".

Then click in the menu bar again "Level", but this time select the option "Raster" and then "Smart object" out.

Now you can start removing the background.

2. Zoom in on the image in order to be able to mark the areas to be removed or retained as precisely as possible.

To do this, select the option in the menu "View" and then either "Zoom in" or "Zoom out". Alternatively, you can also use the key combinations specified in the menu.

3. Select the Polygon Lasso Tool in the toolbar on the left.

To do this, click on this symbol:

Then select the starting point for your selection (e.g. a corner) and click on it. Then stake out the area you want to keep by clicking one corner point at a time. For example, if you want to remove the black border of the stop sign at the same time, attach your mark to the outer edge of the white border.

4. Connect the beginning and the end of the marking line.

After you have completely outlined the area that you want to keep, connect the start and end of the marking line by clicking on the starting point again. If you've done everything correctly, you will now see a small circle next to your cursor, as shown below.

The selected element is now surrounded by a flashing, dashed line:


5. Select all of the areas that you want to remove.

To do this, click in the top menu bar "Selection" and then on "Invert selection". This marks the area of ​​the image that should be made transparent.


6. Remove the background.

If you now click the "Del" key If you press, the selected background will be removed and a diamond pattern will be displayed in its place (see image below). This tells you that the background is now transparent.


7. Save the image as a PNG file.

This way you ensure that the transparent background is preserved.

The quick selection tool - for objects with rounded or irregular edges.

If you want to remove the background of an object whose edges are more curved and not quite as clearly defined as in the following example, the quick selection tool is recommended.

1. Open the image in Photoshop.

The same applies here as with the polygon lasso method: After you have opened the image in Photoshop, convert it into a "smart object" and then rasterize it:

  1. Click on the Photoshop menu "Level", then on "Smart Objects" and select the option "Convert to Smart Object"
  2. Then click on in the menu bar again "Level", but this time select the option "Raster" and then "Smart object" out. (The corresponding screenshots can be found in the explanations for the polygon lasso tool under step 1.)

2. Select the quick selection tool in the toolbar on the left.

The icon is just below the Polygon Lasso Tool and looks like this:

3. Click the background to select the area you want to become transparent.

Take a little time to familiarize yourself with this tool - it's worth it! Because this is the fastest and easiest way to remove an image background.

Now mark all areas that you want to remove.


In order to save time, it is advisable to work roughly at the beginning and select the background over a relatively large area. You can then adjust the size of the selection tool again and again to go into more detail.

Repeat this step until the entire background of the image is selected:


4. Correct the selection if necessary.

It can happen that parts of the image are selected together with the background that should actually be retained (see screenshot below).