A common query among new image editors is- how to get a transparent background without paying for premium software.

In our guide on removing background or deleting background by using gimp, we will tell you 5 easy ways to alter the entire background without paying a penny for a premium image editor.

Gimp (Gnu image manipulation program) allows users to choose the method to delete the background of an image. Then can use:

#1 Fuzzy Select Tool

The Fuzzy Select Tool in GIMP lets you choose portions of an image depending on how closely their colors match. When your image’s background is made up of a distinct palette of colors than the object, you want to crop out, this technique work wonders.

Click and drag on your subject to make a selection while the tool is selected. To enlarge the selection, move the mouse to the right; to reduce it, move the pointer to the left. Holding Shift while clicking on an additional area will add it to your selection; similarly, holding Control while clicking on an area will delete any unwanted selections.

Don’t forget to use ‘add alpha channel’ before proceeding actively. Alpha channel helps in controlling the opacity of a color. The fuzzy selection tool works best on the same color background throughout the layer.

This will produce a selection-a dotted outline around the subject. If you selected the object by clicking on the background, you must press the Delete key on your keyboard (or, on a Mac, pick Edit > Clear) to turn the backdrop of your image transparent using GIMP.

You can only select the subject if you made the selection by clicking on it. Choose Select > Invert to eliminate the background rather than the subject. When you do this, there won’t be any visible changes to the screen, but what happened was that you inverted the selection so that the backdrop, rather than the foreground, is now the one that is chosen. After doing that, just press Delete.

#2 Select By Color Tool

The Select by Color tool is an even more straightforward approach, akin to the Fuzzy Select Tool. With this tool, clicking on a particular pixel causes a selection to be made that includes all adjacent pixels of that color. If your image’s background comprises just one hue and perhaps a few distinct tones of that color, this tool works well.

By pressing Shift + O on your keyboard or by selecting the button displayed above, you may access the Select by Color tool.

Hit Delete on your keyboard or, if using a Mac, click Edit > Clear once you’ve made a selection from your background.

If it’s simpler for you to make a selection from your foreground or subject instead, go ahead and do that. Then, before erasing the selection, choose Select > Clear.

#3 Path Tool

This is the most difficult and time-consuming way, but in our opinion, it yields the cleanest, most expert results when using GIMP to erase background to transparent. The Paths tool was employed to crop the picture of the bird in the header of this post.

Either click the earlier button to access the Path tool or press B on your keyboard to access it directly.

We would recommend watching the following video instruction we made a while ago instead of trying to describe this concept in written text because it is way too intricate and complex to do so. Even a novice user of the product can follow the video’s audio narration and step-by-step directions.

#4 Layer Mask

The second-to-last technique we’ll describe is more like a set of operations than a tool. To use the layer mask technique, convert your image to black and white first, then tweak the color curves to give the foreground and background some separation. 

The transparent sections will then be defined using layer masks once that is finished.

This technique is the best way to crop out objects with small details in the image layer, such as fur or hair strands. Though it requires little practice to master, it is the most difficult of the four methods we’ve discussed.

You should be aware that not all photographs will respond to this technique. Between your subject and the background, there must be some difference.

#5 Foreground Select Tool

The Foreground Select tool is the last technique we’ll discuss. This approach might be a fantastic choice if your subject contains many small details, like hair strands.

Start by manually sketching a rough outline around your topic using the Foreground Select tool. You can also use the free select tool to outline.

It’s only intended to be a crude tracing, so don’t stress that it is exact. A dark blue area will be over your backdrop, and a light blue area will be over your foreground.

You can switch the preview setting once you’re done to see how it appears.

Hit Enter on the keyboard to make it into a selection if you’re satisfied with how it appears. Next, erase the backdrop by pressing Delete on your keyboard after inverting the selection by selecting Select > Invert.

We’ll discuss the Foreground Select tool as our final technique. This approach would also be wise if your subject contains many minute details, such as hair strands.

Start by manually tracing a rough outline of your subject’s area with the Foreground Select tool. This is meant to be a basic tracing, so don’t worry if it’s accurate. As a result, your foreground and backdrop will be made up of pale and dark blue, respectively.


Now you know how to make a transparent background in gimp, and you can use these techniques to make gift cards, brochures, invitations, and whatnot. If you want to learn how to crop an image in gimp, check out your other gimp guide, where we have discussed 2 easy ways to crop an image.

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