Removing a Background with Shutterstock Editor

Shutterstock Editor is the free, easy, and efficient graphic design tool to help you edit and create beautiful images. Select from our library of millions of royalty-free stock images (or upload your own) to create professional social media posts, promotions, and more!


Removing the image background and isolating an object with Editor is simple.

  • Make sure the image you want to work on is selected by clicking on it.

  • Using the tools panel on the right-hand side, click on the “remove background tool” icon (it’s the one that looks like an eraser). This will open up the remove background tool window, if you are unable to click on the icon, make sure the image you want to work on is selected.

  • NOTE: Shutterstock images must be licensed before the background can be removed. If the image has not yet been licensed, a prompt to do so will appear. Select which plan you would like to use and click the “License and continue” button.

  • Once the remove background tool window opens, it will automatically highlight in yellow the area to be removed. It may take the tool a few seconds to identify the background. In the right-hand panel, you will see a small preview of the proposed area to be removed. If you are happy with the automated selection, click the “Apply changes” button.

  • If the proposed selection isn’t quite right, use the tools on the right-hand panel to refine the selected area. Use the “Brush + Add” button to mark which areas to keep and “Brush - Remove” to mark which areas to remove. Use the Brush Size slider to change the size of the brush. Clicking “Back to the original will” reset the image back to its original version.

  • When you are satisfied with the selection, click the “Apply” button to remove the background and isolate the object.

  • If you want the isolated object to be on a transparent background, go to the Background section at the bottom of the tools panel. In the drop-down menu that displays Image select Color and then move the Opacity slider to 0%.

  • Now that you removed the background and isolated the object you can apply it to any other background, add text, filters or any other special effects to make the design uniquely your own.

In case you need more tips about image backgrounds, check the article about removing backgrounds efficiently and this short guide about transparent backgrounds.

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