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How to Make a Transparent Cutout

Do you want to remove a noisy background from a beautiful portrait or want to create a transparent background for your company logo? It’s obvious that making a transparent background leads to a good-looking image and makes it suitable for any website.


Also, for product images, messy backgrounds distract customers from the product itself. By creating a transparent background through the image cutout service, you can move the object to different backgrounds and make professional-looking images.

In this article, I’ll describe how to make a transparent cutout so that you can try it yourself to get rid of a distracting background. Let’s dig in.

Ways of Making a Transparent Cutout

You’ll find several ways for making a transparent background. Image cutout is a common and efficient way. There is some software for editing images where you can create a transparent background.

Among all the software, Adobe Photoshop and GIMP are commonly used. So, I’ll describe how to make a transparent cutout through these two types of software.

Making a Transparent Cutout Through Adobe Photoshop

The most common photo editing software used by graphic designers is Adobe Photoshop. You will find several tools here to beautify or edit images for professional or personal use.

It’s quite simple to cut out the background. There are a few steps to this process. So, don’t worry if you’re no expert in this, just follow the easy steps as described below and you’re done.

Selection Tools and Masks

First Step- Magic Wand Tool

First, you’ve to use the Magic Wand Tool to select the object roughly. You’ll find this tool in the Tools window. Set the Tolerance at 20% from the Options menu. You can gradually change the tolerance according to your need while selecting new areas.

You can hold the Shift button and click in the following area for further adding to the selection. For subtracting the selection, you can hold the Option button and click the area.

Second Step- Lasso Tool

After a rough selection, you’ve to fine-tune the object by using the Lasso tool. You have to drag the cursor after holding Shift to add the selection. There are three types of Lasso such as Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, and Magnetic Lasso. You’ll find them in the Tools menu by clicking on Lasso and holding it.

Lasso is used for freehand selection while Polygonal Lasso is used to creating polygonal shapes. Magnetic Lasso is used to automatically add a selection.

Third Step- Select and Mask Panel

After completing the selection, refine it by using the Select and Mask Panel. You’ll find it in the Options menu.

For a smoother selection, try setting “Smooth: 3; Shift Edge: -20, and Feather: .3px” in the Global Refinement settings. It’ll help to reduce background reflection and soften the edge too.

Final Step- Layer Mask

The final step is the removal of the background by creating a Layer Mask. You can choose Layer Mask from the Output Settings of the Select and Mask option. This layer will hide the background by having a mask on the subject. The mask will be activated by a right-click or deactivated. When you activate the layer mask, you get a transparent cutout. Quite easy, right?

Making a Transparent Cutout Through GIMP

To cut out any particular part of an image, Lasso, Rectangular, and Ellipse selection tools are available in the GIMP. By using these tools you can cut out a part from an image and make a transparent background or can place it anywhere you want.

You can replace the noisy background with a transparent background by adding an Alpha channel. The channel can remove the surrounding area to make your desired background. Let’s find out which tool is suitable for what shape below.

For Irregular Shaped Objects

The Lasso tool is a great choice for an irregularly shaped object. You have to click on the “Layer” menu where you’ll find “Transparency”. Go there and click on “Add Alpha Channel” to add a transparent layer to the image.

Now select the “Lasso” tool and trace a path by clicking the left button of the mouse around the object needed to cut out. If you want to select the parts of the object accurately, don’t forget to minimize the distance between mouse clicks.

To close the loop of the trace path, click on the first spot or anchor point with the Lasso tool. Then go to the “Select” menu and click on “Invert”. This will select the rest of the parts except the traced section of the image.

Then, to cut out the unwanted part of the image, press “Ctrl-X”. This way you can have the image of the product with a transparent background.

Rectangular Objects

For a rectangular object, you can use the Rectangular selection tool. You can add an underlying transparent background in the same way you described above.

Now select the “Rectangle Select” tool to draw around your rectangular object that is needed to cut out. To select the rectangular area completely, you have to click the left mouse button, hold it and drag it from the upper left-hand corner to the right corner of the object.

After enclosing the area, release the button. A box of moving dashes will be placed by GIMP around the selected object. To invert the select press “Ctrl-I” and to remove the unwanted part of the background press “Ctrl-X”. This way, the background of the rectangular object will be transparent.

Elliptical, Circular, or Oval Objects

The Ellipse Select tool is suitable for any elliptical, circular, or oval-shaped objects. You can add Alpha Channel like before and click on the “Ellipse Select” tool. Using this tool, you can draw an oval or elliptical area around the cutout object.

To surround the object, you have to click, hold, and drag the left mouse button from the upper left edge to the lower right edge. After covering the area, release the button and you will see an area surrounded by moving dashes.

Now you can notice four squares around the selected object. To get the best possible fit, click the left mouse button and hold it on any of the squares and drag it up, down, left, or right of the selected area.

Now invert the selection by pressing “Ctrl-I” and remove the messy background with the press of “Ctrl-X”. Finally, you get the transparent cutout.


As you’ve learned several ways of making a transparent cutout, you can try your own. Whether you want to edit the picture for your personal blog or eCommerce website, it doesn’t matter. After knowing how to make a transparent cutout, you can easily get rid of the unwanted background and make the object the center of attraction. Well, if you are up for an eCommerce site and you have a bulk edit to do, don’t get hard on yourself. There are many image cutout service providers like Clipping Way that can make this task easy within a few bucks. However, let me know how your first image cutout goes if you like.

Meta Title: How to Make a Transparent Cutout on Two Popular Software

Meta Description: Making a transparent background seems a tough job but it isn’t! Using Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, you can simply cut out the image to a transparent background. Care to know how?