pgn with white background to transparent

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pgn with white background to transparent

Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and the photoshop program. I find myself getting stuck in sticky situations that I know probably has very simple fixes. After searching google and the forum I am left when still no answer to my dilemma. I have a png file that I dragged over onto a brown backdrop. When I did this there is a white background behind the png file. How do I make it transparent? I know who to do it in publisher but photoshop baffles me smiley

Hello Danielle,

You have a couple of options:
You can remove the white by using the magic wand. This can be found on the tool bar to the left. It is usually hidden under the quick selection tool. It should be the 4th tool down on a single tool bar. Right click on the quick selection tool to reveal the drop down menu, select the quick selection tool. Click on the white of the picture. If it selected the area that you do not want than click delete on the keyboard to remove the white. If you do not like what it did Select Edit > Undo. This removes the white, it does not hide or create a transparent area.

You can use the quick selection tool to select the area of the picture that you want to keep. After you selected the area, select Add layer mask from the menu at the bottom of the layers panel. This will create a layer mask which will hide the white, thus creating a transparent look.

You can also refine the mask by right clicking on the mask square - this you should now see in the layers panel. Select Refine the mask. This will allow you to smooth the edges and feather the edges.

Another way, still, would be to add a layer mask to the layer of the image. It can be accessed at the bottom of the layers palette. It looks like a circle in a square. Or, you can access it by going to the top menu bar - under 'Layers'.

Then, go to 'Select'>'Color Range'. When the box pops up, the cursor becomes a dropper. Click on the white area. If there is more than one shade of white, hold down the 'Shift' key and drag the cursor around to all the white areas. Be sure not to run over into the colors. If you do, just re-click on a white area and start over. There is a fuzziness slider that you can fine-tune the color selection with.

When you click 'Okay', the white area will be masked over, thus, appearing transparent. Hover over the layer mask itself, in the layers palette, right-click and select 'Apply Mask'. You will be left with your transparent image.

You don't say which version of PS you are using, but, this applies to the CS versions for certain. I don't know about Elements.

I'm curious as to why a .png has a white background. If you want to maintain that transparency, it must stay a .png after you remove the background. To save it as a 'jpeg' would apply the white background automatically.


Another way to remove background is by using a tool that is located under the eraser tool -- the last one on the eraser list (not background eraser, but the bottom one) it does a good job of removing a background with just a click, especially if there is good contrasts between the subject and the background. You just click the background and it takes it away wherever it is contiguous. You might have to adjust the tolerance, which is up at the top of the screen, if it takes out too much.

Wow.. Thanks for your responses. I am using Ps5. I crated some word art earlier and I saved them as png files. I wanted to add it to a background in another image. I don't know why it has the white background. I don't think I gave it take white background, it was just there where I saved the file.

So, I tried all your suggestions and they only suggestion I could get to work was Tina's.. Thanks Tina:
Judy- when I sent the white with the magic wand and hot delete nothing happens. I also tried to left mouse button and select subtract from selection. I get a warning that no pixels are more than 50% selected, the selection edges will not be visible. I also created a new layer mask and nothing happened.

Su- your suggestions actually worked but all my styles we "less visible" after doing this and the fussiness slider didn't help with that part.

Thanks again,

One thing to keep in mind is the layers. If you have a duplicate of the bottom layer and it is visible, it will not show the removal of the background.

Su good point about the png. Did the png have layers. If so was the bottom layer white to show the image off?

oh I think I know - I seem to remember that if you flatten a .png file it will make a white background. You have to verge visible and then "save as"

Sometimes, due to the colors in an image, so much 'disappears' when you click on Select>Color Range, you have to hit 'Inverse'. It's a button right there in that same box. Sorry, I didn't mention that.

I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but, are you sure you were on the correct layer? That happens to me a lot! Too much, in fact! So, I have to be ever vigilant about the layer! I thought about writing a tut for reasons things don't work or are 'greyed-out'. I know I have spent countless hours, trying to figure something out - why it won't work. Then I'll see why. It is without fail an oversight on my part.

Yep! Flattening is why it turned white. I have read that .png images are sharper or better images some way. LOL I have used the .png format on some images that could be .jpg. I thought it helped. (shrugs) LOL I thought perhaps the designer had done that, too.

Well, cool! I learned something myself!


Thanks ladies.. no insult taken Su.. I am so novice when it comes to photoshop that I feel I have no clue what I am It takes a lot of time, researching and playing around with to learn just one thing! I would say I will have a grasp by next year..haha. A slow but fun process!