Microsoft Paint is a basic image editing software which is freely distributed with Windows operating system. Unlike Photoshop and other sophisticated image editing software, Paint doesn’t support transparent background. Transparent backgrounds are useful if you wish to add an image on top of another image or simply remove the background from the parent image and apply a different background. Even though Paint doesn’t support transparent backgrounds, it can be achieved by following few simple steps. I will explain 3 different ways you can add transparent background in Paint.
Making Background of an Image Transparent Which Has White Background
If you are working with an image which has a white background, maintaining transparency is quite simple. Let’s look at the image below for an example. We want to extract the picture of the ball from the white background and paste it on an image which has grey background.
To extract the image without the white background, you will be doing the following: From the Home tab, click on Select drop down menu and select Transparent selection. Also, choose the Rectangualar selection from the Selection shapes area. This option allows you to copy an image from a white background without copying the whiteness around the image.
Select the image by clicking and dragging the rectangular selection tool around the image you want to copy. Then press CTRL+C or click on the Copy button to copy the image. Create a new file and give it grey background. Press CTRL+V or press the Paste icon to paste the image on the grey background. You will notice that the image maintained its transparency and doesn’t have a white background around it. See snapshot below.
Making Background of an Image Trasnparent Which has a Solid Color Background
If you are working with an image which has a background color other than white, then this section of the post will help you in making the image’s background trasnparent in Paint. The image of the bat below is on a red background. We want to get rid of the red background and make it transparent so that we can paste the image of the bat on any other image seamlessly.
In order to get rid of the solid red background color, you will have to turn the background of the image white and then follow the steps in working with an image with whie background above to make the image transparent. Here’s what you have to do to make the red background white.
Click on the Fill icon under Home tab. Then click on Color 1 and choose white from the color pallet as shown below.
Once you have the Fill tool and white color selected, click on any part of the red background and it will fill it with white. Now you can easily make the background of this image trasnparent. All you have to do is from the Home tab, click on Select drop down menu and select Transparent selection. Also, choose the Rectangualar selection from the Selection shapes area. Select the image by clicking and dragging the rectangular selection tool around the image you want to copy. Then press CTRL+C or click on the Copy button to copy the image. Create a new file and give it grey background. Press CTRL+V or press the Paste icon to paste the image on the grey background. You will notice that the image maintained its transparency and doesn’t have a white background around it. See snapshot below.
As you can see above, we were able to make the background of the image transparent and only copy the image of the bat without its red background. So, now you can make the background of any image with a solid background color transparent.
Making the Background of an Image Transparent Which has Non-uniform Background Color
If you are working with an image which neither has white nor a solid color background, then you can still extract a portion of the image without copying the background. This is done by using the Free-form selection tool. For this example, we will be extracting a slice of the orange from the image below and paste it into another image with a different background.
We will be extracting the orange slice which is to the right. To do this, from the Home tab, by clicking on the small arrow under Select we will be choosing the Free-form selection option. Also, ensure that Transparent selection is also selected.
Now, we will carefully select the portion of the image using the mouse which is to be extracted, in this case, it is the sliced orange to the right.
My hand shakes while I drag the mouse so as you can see above that I didn’t do an excellent job lol. But, you get the point. Once the image is fully selected, releasing the mouse will cause the Paint to place a rectangular selection region around the image as shown below. But don’t worry, it will still only copy the portion of the image which was selected using the free-form selection tool.
Now, we will copy the image and paste it on a new image. As you can see, the orange slice was pasted and it has transparent background.
2 thoughts on “3 Ways to Make Transparent Background in Paint”
Thanks! It worked. I would recommend turning on Transparent Selection while working with non uniform backgrounds as well.
Hi James, I am glad that it worked for you. Thanks for the tip, I have updated the instructions.