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How to Delete to Transparency with GIMP

Updated on February 10, 2011

 I will be demonstrating how you can delete parts of your picture to transparency instead of the default option of the background color using the free software GIMP. 

First of all I open an image with a white background border around it. I select the magic wand tool and click on the white area that I want to delete to transparency. Now that it is selected if I hit the delete key it will delete the selected area to whatever my current background color is set to, which in this case is white so it looks like nothing happens.

In order to delete this selected area to transparency we have to add an alpha channel to this layer.

Right click on the layer to get the layer options menu. Find “Add Alpha Channel”, and click on it. Now if you press the delete key on your keyboard while this layer is selected, the white area that was selected will be deleted to transparency.

This also works if you use the Rectangle or Ellipse Select tools and hit delete or you can use the Eraser tool.

This is a rather simple thing but it sure can be frustrating trying to figure it out when you are new to Gimp. If you have any problems with this feel free to leave a message in the comments.


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