How to Remove the Background From a Picture

remove the background from an image

The other day, I was working on a presentation.

I was trying to come up with a way to add a logo and few icons into PowerPoint. But there was a problem. The images all had different background colors, and I needed them to all have a uniform look.

Maybe you’ve been there too. You have a logo, icon, or other images that you’re trying to design with, but you need to remove the background of the image. You may need to add your company logo to a new image or add an icon to a PowerPoint presentation.

You can make the background of an image transparent with an advanced photo editor like Photoshop, with TechSmith’s Snagit, or with a variety of other tools.

Luckily, the approach is similar no matter what tool you are using. With Snagit, it only takes a few steps to quickly remove the background from your image.

How to remove make a picture background transparent

Keep in mind, Snagit is not as sophisticated as a professional editing program like Photoshop, and it may not work to delete the background from a photo or image with complex backgrounds.

However, Snagit is the perfect Photoshop alternative to make an image transparent if you aren’t familiar with high-end tools.

Free Trial: You can try Snagit for free. Get everything you need to capture and edit images on your Windows or Mac.

Step 1: Insert the image into the editor

Start by taking a screenshot with Snagit, or upload an image from the File menu. Images that have a white background, solid color, or high-contrast backgrounds work best.

Insert image into editor to remove background


Step 2: Next, click the Fill button on the toolbar and choose Transparent

Remove background by choosing transparency levels

If you need to add a transparent fill to your Quick Styles for the first time, it’s pretty simple. All you need to is click down on the fill color option in the Tool Properties and select the transparent fill.

Select Quick Style Transparent Background

Step 3: Adjust your tolerance

It’s fairly easy to adjust the tolerance on this image because it’s only black and white. But sometimes you have an image with lots of different shades. If you have an image with lots of similar colors or gradients in the background you may end up with some bleeding around the icon, logo, etc.

Choose tolerance settings to remove background

One thing you can do to remedy that is to adjust the tolerance of the fill. One percent is the most strict and 100 percent means it will pretty much wash out your entire image. You may have to play with the tolerance to get the right transparency level. In this case, 90 percent worked out well for this icon.

Step 4: Click the background areas you want to remove

Click the background area you want to remove

If you are using a screenshot or a PNG image, it will default to have a transparent background. If you are using a JPG or other file format, you’ll need to adjust your background color in the Snagit editor first or it will default to white rather than transparent.

To do this, simply click Image > Canvas Color (on Windows) or Image > Change Canvas Color… (on Mac).

Change canvas color in Snagit

Step 5: Save your image as a PNG

If you don’t save your image as a PNG file it will default your background to white.

And that’s all there is to remove the background from an image. It only takes a few steps and gives you the freedom to create a seamless look to your training documents, marketing materials, or presentations.

Free Trial: You can try Snagit for free. Get everything you need to capture and edit images on your Windows or Mac.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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