How to make transparent layers in gimp

Written by yasmine fuller
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How to make transparent layers in gimp
Learn how opacity relates to transparent images within GIMP. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Using transparency when working with images allows your image to blend well with any type of background. This is especially helpful if you wish to place a logo onto a multicoloured background. Many photo-editing programs allow you to create transparent images and backgrounds, and using GIMP is no exception. You can easily modify layer transparency in GIMP by experimenting with layer opacity.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • GIMP photo editor

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  1. 1

    Create a new project in GIMP or open an existing project.

  2. 2

    Select the layer you wish to make transparent from the layers panel in your sidebar. Verify that the layer is highlighted before you begin to make changes to its transparency. If the layer is not highlighted, no changes can be made or might possibly be made to the incorrect layer.

  3. 3

    Toggle the "Opacity" slider in the layers panel to control the transparency settings. A 100 per cent opacity means that the image will show 100 per cent of its colours. Toggling the slider to a lower opacity setting such as 35 per cent will make the image 35 per cent transparent and will allow other colours from surrounding layers peek through. A 0 per cent opacity setting means that the layer is completely transparent or invisible. Settle on an opacity setting that achieves the overall look you desire.

  4. 4

    Save changes to your project.

  5. 5

    Export your new image as a .png file in order to preserve transparency if you are using this image for the Web.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not save your image as a .jpg. This will not preserve transparency because this file type is not suitable for transparent Web images.

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