How to Make a Background Transparent in Paint

Written by filonia lechat
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When you’re creating a graphic to go on another image, such as a logo for company stationery or an avatar for online gaming, the graphic must be able to appear on any kind of background. Thus, the graphic must be free of the standard white box that appears with certain types of files. To ensure this, create a transparent background using the Paint software that came with your Windows operating system.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create an original image with a transparent background by opening Paint, pulling down the “Image” menu and selecting “Attributes.” Set your image dimensions, such as 2 inches by 2 inches, and click the “OK” button. A white box appears on the screen.

  2. 2

    Pull down the “Image” menu again and uncheck the “Draw Opaque” option. If it is already unchecked, leave it as it is. This renders your background transparent, but because Paint can’t handle showing this on the screen, your background still looks white.

  3. 3

    Click the “Paintbrush” tool, select the medium brush head and choose a paint colour from the “Color Picker” at the bottom of the screen. Draw the outline of your graphic, such as a shamrock, palm tree or smiley face. Click the “Paint Bucket” tool and click inside the drawing, filling it with colour.

  4. 4

    Pull down the “File” menu and click “Save As.” Name the graphic and set a destination for it, such as your desktop. Pull down the “Save as type” menu and click “GIF,” the only file format that allows transparency. Click the “Save” button.

  1. 1

    Give an established image a transparent background by opening Paint, pulling down the “File” menu and clicking “Open.” Browse to the image on your computer and double-click the file name; the picture opens in the Paint workspace.

  2. 2

    Click the “Eraser” tool and erase areas in the picture that you want to be transparent, such as the sky and background surrounding the main person in the photo. Be sure to erase even the smallest specks; use the “Magnifier” tool to zoom in.

  3. 3

    Pull down the “Image” menu again and uncheck the “Draw Opaque” option. If it is already unchecked, leave it as it is. This renders your background transparent, but because Paint can’t handle showing this on the screen, your background still looks white.

  4. 4

    Save the file by clicking the “File” menu and click “Save As.” Give the graphic a new name; don’t save it over the old one in case you want to access the original. Set a destination for it on your computer. Pull down the “Save as type” menu and select “GIF.” Click the “Save” button.

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