For this tutorial on saving and image with a transparent background, you will need Photoshop.  There are a variety of packages, bundles and free trials available if you don’t already use this program.  Click here to read my overview of the Adobe Creative Suite and a breakdown of the pricing structure.

If you’re tired of saving logos, icons or other images only to place them elsewhere and realize there’s an ugly white box behind it, this tutorial will teach you how to solve that problem.

I will be creating a quick logo to show you how to create a transparent background.  You may be creating something from scratch or cutting out a piece of an image, but whatever image you’re using will follow these steps.

1. Open the file with a transparent background.

It’s important to start with a blank canvas with no background colors.  Opening a new document without a solid background color will make things much easier down the road.  If you’re working from an image or logo that has a background color, still open this file with a transparent background.

2. Create your logo or image on the checkered background.

When you create a new file with a transparent background, it will show up as grey and white checkers.  Wherever you see these grey and white checkers means that will be transparent when saved in the right file type (PNG).  I created a quick graphic for an example, and below is the before and after.  Even after I created the logo, you can still see the checkers in the background signifying this will be transparent.

If you’re not starting from scratch, you will need to cut out what you want from the image.  Using the lasso tool, create a perimeter around what you want to delete.  Below is what it will look like when you’ve deleted part of an image – you should see the grey and white checkered background.

In this photo, I’ve cut out the fruit bowl. I traced the fruit bowl and went to Select > Inverse and then hit delete/backspace. This will get rid of everything except what you traced.

3. Save the image as a .png file.

This is the most important part of this entire tutorial, because other file types will automatically add a white background.  You must save this as a .png file.  After you hit save, click OKAY in the dialogue box that appears.  And now, you’ve got a log or image with a transparent background that you can place anywhere with no pesky white box behind it.

Did this work for you?  Let me know!  If you have questions, please feel free to comment or reach out and contact me.