How to Create a Transparent Image With Paint

By Betty Quinton

Microsoft Paint is a basic graphics editing program that comes with almost all Windows-based computers. Because it is so basic, doing certain tasks, such as making the background of a picture you have drawn transparent, is impossible within the software. However, you can achieve the effect. After creating the image using Paint, you can use a supplementary program called GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) to select certain colors in the drawing and make them transparent.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Paint software
  • GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) software

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Paint. Click the "Start" button, then click "Programs," then "Accessories" and then "Paint."

Step 2

Create an image or open an existing one in Paint.

Step 3

Save the image file as a GIF because that is the only file type that supports transparency. Click the "File" option at the top of the Paint window, then click "Save As" and then give the file a name, if necessary. Choose "GIF" from the "Save as type..." drop-down menu. Finally, click the "Save" button.

Step 4

Close the Paint application.

Step 5

Download and install GIMP on the computer (see Resources). Once the installation file has downloaded to the computer, double-click the EXE file from wherever you saved it on the computer, and then follow the directions to install the GIMP software.

Step 6

Launch GIMP. Click the "Start" button, then click "Programs" and then click "GIMP."

Step 7

Open the image file you want to edit from within GIMP. Click the "File" option at the top of the GIMP window, then click "Open," navigate to the GIF image file and then click the "Open" button.

Step 8

Click the "Layer" option at the top of the GIMP window, then click "Transparency" and then click "Add Alpha Channel."

Step 9

In the "Toolbox" menu, click the "Fuzzy Select Tool" icon located on the top row of icons, fourth from the right.

Step 10

Click the color on the image you want to make transparent.

Step 11

Click the "Edit" option at the top of the GIMP window, and then click "Clear." The gray checkered boxes that appear mark the newly created transparent regions.

Step 12

Repeat steps 10 and 11 as necessary to create the amount of transparency you want.

Step 13

Save the edited image. Click the "File" option at the top of the GIMP window, click "Save," rename the file, if necessary, and then click the "Save" button.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider renaming the edited image so you still have the original file if you need to make changes to it again or are not satisfied with your initial work.