Transparent Image Backgrounds


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  • Also see these original instructions to create an alpha transparency layer for any photo using Gimp.
  • With Gimp, open the image for which you wish to make the background transparent. (The most suitable images for this already have a single colour as a background.)
Gimp -> File -> Open -> MyImage.png
  • Add a transparent alpha channel to the image:
Gimp -> Layer -> Transparency -> Add Alpha Channel
  • Select the "Fuzzy Select Tool" from the Toolbox or from the Menu:
Gimp -> Tools -> Selection Tools -> Fuzzy Select
  • With the Fuzzy Select magic wand, click on any part of the background (until dotted outlines appear).
  • "Clear" the selected area in order to remove the color and thereby make it transparent:
Gimp -> Edit -> Clear

A checkerboard pattern should appear to indicate the transparent area.

  • Save the image using "Save As..." or "Save A Copy...". You will be prompted to either export the image as a flattened image or with merged layers during the save process. Either option will work. Your saved image should now have a transparent background.
  • Note that .jpg images do not accept background transparency, but .png images do. Make sure you save the new image as a .PNG file. Once you have saved the new image, you can later use either Gimp or Gwenview to resize the new image.
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