Tech Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Transparent Background

Tech Tips & Tricks Tuesday logo (redesign)

So you know your way around InDesign, but the word “Photoshop” sends a chill down your spine? Well today we have you covered, with a simple but highly useful Tech Tip & Trick for removing backgrounds from an image.

Start by opening your image file in Photoshop.

From the Tool Box on the left side of the screen, click on any of the selection tools and “Select and Mask…” will appear on the Options Bar at the top of the window. Select this tool.


A new window will open. From the Properties panel on the right, you can adjust the transparency to better see your image.


With the Quick Selection Tool (top icon in your Toolbox) you can begin to select the part of your image that you would like to retain – do not select the parts of the image that you would like to make transparent.


You can adjust the transparency as you go to ensure you are only selecting the part of the image you want to keep.

TIP: If you select more of the image than you meant to, hold down Alt while using the Quick Selection Tool to subtract your selection

If your image has fine details like a person’s hair, the second icon from the top of your Toolbox, “Refine Edge,” can be used to trace around the edge of the hairline. This will give your selection a more natural look.

TIP: You may need to adjust the size of the Refine Edge tool, by clicking the down arrow on the Options Bar.

When you’re finished selecting, on the bottom of the Properties Panel under “Output Settings” click on “Decontaminate Colors” and make sure “Output To” is set as “New Layer.” Click OK.


This will bring you back to the default Photoshop window and your image will have a transparent background.

We hope this Tech Tip & Trick Tuesday encourages you to find more applications for using Photoshop to improve the work you do in AEC Marketing. If you found this or any of our other Tech Tips & Tricks Tuesday posts helpful, let us know in the comments!

P.S. – Thank you to Courtney Franklin’s adorable dog Jeter, for being the perfect model for this post.


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