How to Make a Transparent Background Using Photoshop

Let's make this clear.
Ash Ash (362)
5 minutes

Creating a file with a transparent background is possible with every version of Photoshop. The main trick is saving the file in a format that recognizes transparency in an image.

It's also possible to both blur a background and change the background color.

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Photo in Photoshop

First, we’ll need to open the photo in Photoshop. You can do this by dragging the photo file on top of the Photoshop window, or manually through File > Open.

Unlock Photo Layer

Click the lock icon in the Layer tab to unlock the photo layer. If the layer is locked, you won't be able to delete your background to create the transparency effect.

Lasso Area Photoshop

The goal in this step is to determine which area of the photo will be erased to become transparent.

Use the lasso tool to select the background you want to remove. Click the Lasso icon from the tool tray or press L on your keyboard. Once the background is selected, press the delete key.

Transparent Background Cat Photoshop

Congratulations—you’ve done great so far! It’s time to export your project. But which file format should we choose?

Not every file type supports background transparency. I usually choose PNG, but the following file types are the most commonly supported:

  • GIF
  • PNG
  • TIFF
Now you see it, now you don't.
Ash Ash (362)
3 minutes

By default, Illustrator creates a solid white artboard in the background. This is helpful when creating artwork so you can see better, but you might not want it there when it's time to save the file.