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GIMP Tutorial #19 – How to Create a Transparent Background

As a brief introduction I can tell you that GIMP is a free image editing program, however, GIMP is really much more than just that, with this great free image manipulation program you can edit, retouch, compose and even create images from scratch. Its full set of tools, filters, brushes, gradients and its fabulous layer control capabilities make of GIMP the best free image editing program out there, it can even be paired to commercial “big-name” pieces of software like the ubiquitous Photoshop. The technique that you are about to learn will help you to create images with a transparent background, that will certainly be really useful when it comes to using them in multimedia documents.

Mybe it sounds obvious, but you need to have GIMP installed in your computer to be able to follow this tutorials. If you haven't, just click the “Download” button above and get your free fully functional version. The InstallIQTM installation manager will take care of the setup process.

First of all open the image that you want to create a transparent background to by going to File → Open... in the Open Image dialog you can select the file and click on the Open button. It will be immediately displayed in the Image window like this:

Then add the Alpha channel to the layer, go to Layer → Transparency → Add Alpha Channel.

Next select the background of the image using one of GIMP's selection tools for this example I used the Scissors Select Tools. The Result should look like this:

Now clear the background by pressing the Delete button (Del) on your keyboard and it should look like this:

All you have to do to finish is to save the image in the PNG or GIF format that support transparency , so, go to File → Save as... and in the dialog enter the name, select the location and the output format.

I opened the resulting PNG image in an image viewer and it looked like this:

Pretty cool huh?

Final Words

Now you know how to create amazing transparent background images for your website or insrting them in your documents, as always, GIMP is your friend when it comes to make things easy, simple and fantastic. Download GIMP right now by clicking on the link below I can tell you for sure that you'll never regret!!

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