I am trying to make a simple jpeg file as transparent. I want to erase all white color in it and save it as png. I remember in Photoshop CS2 there was one nice tool which removed white color by default. Currently, i am using Photoshop CS4. And i am not able to find that tool. Actually i am using Photoshop after quiet some months. Can anybody help me out with it? I need the simplest way to do it. I am not a Photoshop expert. This should be quiet easy for you folks.

Thanks in advance :)


4 Answers 4


For transparency you need to

  • Open up the JPEG
  • Double-click the background layer to make it a regular layer (background layers always have a background color I think)
  • Use the eraser or whatever to remove the parts you don't want in the picture. To remove white, I would probably try to use the Wand or channels or something like that.
  • Save it in a format which supports transparency (for example PNG)

If youre satisfied with a relatively low quality transparency, there's indeed a one click way to make it:

Save your file for web (in the file menu), select GIF or PNG8 as output. in the color table select the white color and click the transparency icon at the bottom of the color table.

Does not work with PNG24 though..

another (not so easy but more flexible) solution would be to use select color range (Select > Color Range...) to select everything white, invert the selection (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + I) and use that as a layer mask for your base layer.


The JPEG format can't handle transparency.

You need to use PNG or GIF.

  • 1
    Hi Pekka, i know JPEG can't handle transparency. What i am asking is How to make a jpeg image transparent in Photoshop CS4 and save it in png to maintain transparency
    – TCM
    Jul 15, 2010 at 8:47
  • @Nitesh I see. I don't have Photoshop handy, and the last I worked with was CS1, but what I like to do is select and copy the area I want to be visible, then create a new image with a transparent background and "dimensions from clipboard", and insert it in there.
    – Pekka
    Jul 15, 2010 at 9:06
  • @Nitesh Panchal: Save it in PNG format first, then adding transparency is much simpler.
    – harrymc
    Jul 15, 2010 at 9:47

When you open your JPEG in Photoshop, it will be a single background layer.

If your image is not too complex, you should be able to use the background eraser tool to erase around the image. If you set up the sampling values correctly (it is straightforward, but I do not have photoshop on my work computer so I can't help you out in that regard) you should be able to run the eraser across your image to erase only white pixels. Obviously, do not run this across any white pixels that you wish to preserve (IE the eyeballs of a character).

When completed, save your image as a PNG or GIF.

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