How to Remove a Background From an Image in Photoshop

If you are using images for a website, graphic postcard or anything else, you will most likely need to remove the background. You can do this with Photoshop using a very straightforward technique. By using the select tool ("+" and "-") you can quickly remove a white, black or multi-colored background.

Step

Open your image in Photoshop and select the magic wand tool on your tool bar.

Step

Move the pointer over the area you want to remove, then left click it. A select area outline will automatically appear.

Step

Move the wand until you select all of the area you want to remove. This tool captures all like-colored pixels, so it will move over areas you may not want selected. To undo an area that is selected by accident, click the wand "-" icon in CS3 version and left-click on the area you want to deselect.

Step

With the right area of the image selected hit delete. The program will automatically remove the background area you selected. Press "Ctrl" and "D" to de-select the area.

Step

Repeat the process as needed. Then use you eraser or pen select tool to outline additional areas that the magic wand missed.

Tips & Warnings

  • This is a fast easy way to remove a background, but it is not always as clean. A more time-consuming, but cleaner method is to use the pen tool (shaped like an antique pen) to carefully outline areas you want to remove, then delete them with the delete key.
  • Make a copy of your images before you attempt this, and remove the background on the copy.