How to Make Background Transparent in Photoshop

In this practical guide, we've shared how to make background transparent in Photoshop, so you can isolate any object and use it in a more versatile fashion.  

How to Make Background Transparent in Photoshop
Often, a raster-based illustration or logo has an unsightly white background, which isn't helpful if you want to place the object on a website or brochure. 

To eliminate the background (i.e. make it transparent), first go to the Layers panel and copy the image layer. Just drag your layer to the "New Layer" icon (it looks like a white square with a folded corner) at the bottom of the panel. 

Next, go to the Tools panel and select the Magic Wand (or press the W key). Click on the background, and you'll see dashed lines appear around the subject and image edges. Now, go back to your original Background layer in the Layers panel, and click on the eye-shaped icon to make the layer invisible. We recommend keeping this original layer in the project, just in case you want to refer back to it later.  

With your copied layer still selected, simply hit the Delete key and the background will be eliminated. You should now see a grey and white checkerboard instead of a background, which indicates that the background is transparent. 

To deselect the object, press Ctrl+D (or Command+D on Mac) and the dashed lines will disappear as well. Now, you can use the object as a standalone graphic, without worrying about the background. 

How to Isolate a Complex Logo from the Background
After going through the previously mentioned steps, you may find that a complex logo still has leftover background areas that need to be deleted. For example, Photoshop may overlook the white spaces in between letters or tiny shapes, so you'll need to take care of those by hand. 

First, create a new background layer by selecting the Rectangle tool and drawing a shape that spans your project dimensions. Choose a background color that contrasts from your previous background, so you can clearly see the leftover areas. Make sure that your new background is listed below the logo layer in the Layers panel.

With your logo layer selected, click on the Zoom tool and zoom into the leftover background areas, so they're more prominent on the screen. Then, select the Magic Wand again, click on the remaining areas, and delete them one by one.  
 
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