How Can I Remove a Background from a Picture?

You might need to remove the background from a picture for several reasons. It can be a product image, a photo that you mean to use on a slide or a document without the background, or you might need the background removed to do some photo editing or manipulation tasks.

Whatever the need may be, the background from an image often needs to go. For that purpose, we will discuss how you can remove the background from a picture while keeping your desired object in the photo intact.

Why Would You Need a Background Removed?

As stated before, you might need to remove the background from a photo for many reasons. You can use a background removal service for this. The most common reasons for background removal are:

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Cutting out Unexpected Objects

Many unexpected objects might appear while taking a photo of your desired object. You might be using a royalty-free image for any purpose and need to remove some objects from it. You might need to have the background removed for this.

Isolating Specific Object from Image

Many times, objects need to be isolated from the main image. Removing the background might be required to do this.

Modifying the Background of an Image

In many cases, you might need to modify the background of an image. For that purpose, removing the current background to include a new one might be necessary.

Drawing More Attention Towards an Image

When the background of an image is removed, it can cut more attention toward the primary object to the viewer.

Creating Mirror Effect

You might often need to create a mirror effect in an image. It’s impossible to make such an effect without removing the background.

Smoothing Edges

Sometimes, edges make an image look untidy. It’s important to remove the background to retouch, remove, or smoothen those edges.

Background Removing Processes

There are many ways you can remove the background from a picture. You can either use a background removal service or do it yourself. If you plan to remove the background from your selected pictures yourself, you can choose from a few options.

The following discussion guides you through the various methods of removing the background of an image:

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Using Microsoft Office Applications

You can use Microsoft Office applications such as PowerPoint to remove the background from an image. To do this, simply import the image into a slide and do the following:

  • Select the image to remove the background from (might need to double-click)
  • Click on Picture Format -> Remove Background or Format -> Remove Background.
  • The background area to be removed will be coloured magenta, and the rest of the image will retain colour.
  • If you want to change the default selected are, go to Background Removal -> Picture Tools and follow the below-mentioned steps to your requirement:
  1. Click Mark Areas to Keep and mark the areas you want to keep with the free-form drawing pencil.
  2. Click Mark Areas to Remove and mark the areas to be removed using the drawing pencil.
  • When you are done removing the background, select Discard Changes or Keep Changes according to your preference. Right-click the image and select Save as Picture to save the image in a separate file.

Using Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a very efficient photo editing software with a wide range of features. Following are the ways you can remove background from an image using Adobe Photoshop:

Select Area to Remove

Go to the Tools panel along the left side of the screen. Select either the Magnetic Lasso Tool to draw out the path or the Magic Wand Tool to select the background from simpler images.

Separating the Layers

Initially, Adobe Photoshop treats the entire image as the background layer. After marking the area, you want to be removed or the area you want to keep, right-click on that area and select Layer via Cut.

This will make the selected area into a separate layer. One of the layers will be named Background, and the other will be named Layer 1.

Selecting and Removing the Background

Depending on how you separated the layers, either select and delete Layer 1 (if you separated the area you want to keep) or Background (if you separated the area you want to be removed). This will effectively have the background removed.

Save the Final Image

After removing the background, you can either:

  • Close photoshop. This will open a prompt window that asks you if you want to Save, Don’t Save, or Cancel. Click on Save to save changes to the existing file. Or
  • Go to File -> Save As and name the new file where you want to save changes to.

Wrapping Up

You may need to remove the background from a photo for many reasons. Regardless, you can use one of the methods described above to do it yourself if you are not looking to hire someone or a service to do it for you.

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Zaman Lashari
Zaman Lashari
Articles: 701

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