Make backgrounds transparent

This is the simplest way that I’ve found to make the background colour of an image transparent.

  1. Download GIMP
  2. Open your image. I’ll pick this one:
  3. Optional: Select Image – Mode – RGB if it’s not RGB.
  4. Select Colors – Colors to Alpha…
  5. Click on the white button next to “From” and select the eye-dropper.
  6. Pick the green colour on the image, and click OK

The anti-aliasing is preserved as well.

  1. Atluri says:

    This works well only for text and images with strong contrast against their background

    text as an image is outdated 😉

    and for images i would use blend->merge->eraser for edges!

  2. Vinu says:

    There is a tool in MS Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) to set the transparent color as well, assuming of course that you plan to embed the image in a document…

  3. S Anand says:

    Need to use the image in web pages, mostly. Would this MS Office tool still work?

  4. S Anand says:

    True, Ravi. I need to automate this task, though. Tried ImageMagick at first, but gave up after a while.

  5. Vinu says:

    Good question. If you use a drag and drop, WYSIWYG web page editor, then perhaps it will translate. I tested it between Powerpoint & Word and it worked.

    Here’s the location of the control on PowerPoint 2007: on the Picture Tools /Format ribbon> Recolor (in the Adjust group, first from the left) drop down to “Set Transparent Color’.
    Keyboard accelerator = Alt + J P E S.

  6. Vipul says:

    Remove background option in MS-PowerPoint 2010 works even better. In love with that feature. 🙂