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How To Remove The Background Of An Image Using Photoshop

Have you ever wondered how some websites are able to integrate images so seamlessly with the background of the page that they just blend in?

Most of those websites accomplish this by removing the original background of the image and either making it transparent (see-through) or changing it to another color or another background all-together. It’s all matched to the theme of the website.

For example, notice the pastor and elder of the First Church of the Living God website in the image below. They blend right in with the clouds in the background.

Today, I will be showing you how to remove the background of an image easily and quickly with Adobe Photoshop.

* Before you start, make sure you have opened an image in Photoshop (File > Open) *

Step 1: Select the Magic Wand Tool

Select the Magic Wand tool, located in the left menu bar.

Step 2: Configure the Magic Wand Tool

Once you have selected the Magic Wand tool, you will need to configure it using the options located near the top menu bar. For basic background removal, tolerance is the only option you need to concern yourself with in the Magic Wand configuration options. Tolerance determines how closely to match colors, and a higher tolerance means a larger selection. For this example, I used a value of 70 for tolerance because if you use anything lower you will get an ugly jagged-edged blue border around the image.

Step 3: Select the Background with the Magic Wand Tool

Now that you have selected the Magic Wand tool and configured its tolerance level, you will need to select the background in the image. Click anywhere in the background of the image and the Magic Wand will automatically detect the colors of the image, and, if there aren’t too many different colors in the image, it will detect the background. Now you see why they call it the “Magic” Wand! In this case, the background is almost a solid blue so the Magic Wand has no trouble detecting the background, and it only takes one click. If the background is not solid, or is busier than the background in this particular example, you will have to hold the shift key while you click on each color that is part of the background (Hold shift + left click). This is a basic tutorial, however, so I won’t be diving into how to do that now.

Step 4: Delete the Background

Now that you have selected the Magic Wand tool, set its tolerance level and selected the background, you simply hit the delete key and voila, no background! You are now free to use this image with just about any background you can think of.

Here is an example of what I did with my tiger:

As you can see, I replaced the background with a solid black color and added some text of a company I made up. This is an example of how you could implement this tiger picture as a logo/header element on your website. There are a lot of other ways to use this skill to make your websites look very professional and seamless.

If you have this skill and use it for your own professional application, please share your experience. If not, was this tutorial helpful to you?