How to Make a Transparent PNG With Photoshop

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Making a transparent PNG in Photoshop is a common task that allows a logo or image to lay on top of an existing web page while adopting the background color or design. Essentially, only the graphic or logo is displayed, and the background is provided by the new web page or document. If you have a header logo for example and you place the logo on your website without transparency, the logo background will portray as a white or off-color square. Make the background of the graphic transparent, and only the logo is visible and nothing obstructs the web page content.

PNG Photoshop File Selection Prep

Before you make a transparent PNG, make a copy of your original file and open the copy in Adobe Photoshop. Saving the original copy leaves a backup option in the case of an error with the PNG file. It also means you can still use the original file for other purposes.

Clear the Background

To remove the background and add transparency to an image in Photoshop, select the "Magic Wand" tool from the vertical toolbar. Using the Magic Wand, click the background area to select it and click the "Delete" key on your keyboard to remove the area. If any background is remaining in the corners and crevasses of the graphic, select those areas individually with the Magic Wand and delete each until all the background is removed, or hold down the "Shift" key and click in several areas to expand the background selection. Click the "Delete" key. The selected areas disappear and are replaced by a grey and white checkerboard effect indicating transparency. The checkerboard does not print in documents or appear on the website At this point, you can save the file as a PNG to create a transparent graphic.

Beyond Photoshop

Photoshop is advanced and capable image-editing software. You can make incredibly sophisticated changes to images using it. There are, however, a number of high-quality programs that are equally capable of creating a transparent background. Some are free and others are paid, but most use a similar process. LunaPic has a transparency option listed directly in the "Edit" menu options. Simply open your photo and click on "Transparent Background" to shortcut the entire process. A little research yields plenty of alternatives if you do not already own or have access to Photoshop software. Some are limited to the single task of creating transparent images and graphics with a focus on logo creation.