What is it Called When a Picture has a Transparent Background? Explained!

Have you ever noticed that some pictures seem to have no background at all? It’s like they’ve been cut out and placed on top of whatever surface they’re on. Well, there’s actually a term for this: it’s called a transparent background. Essentially, this means that the image file has been saved in a way that removes the background, leaving only the subject of the picture visible.

You might be wondering why anyone would bother with a transparent background. After all, isn’t it easier to just leave the background in? It turns out that removing the background can actually make the picture more versatile. With a transparent background, the image can be easily placed on top of other visuals without any awkward white space around the edges. This is especially useful for graphic designers who want to create collages or overlay text onto images.

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to create a transparent background. Most photo editing software allows you to use a tool called the “lasso” to manually trace around the subject of the picture and remove the background. There are also plenty of online tools that can do it for you with just a few clicks. As more and more people discover the benefits of transparent backgrounds, it’s likely that we’ll see them popping up everywhere. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll even forget what it’s like to see a picture with a solid background.

Types of Image File Formats

When it comes to images, there are certain file formats that are more suitable for certain tasks than others. Understanding the different types of image file formats can help you choose the right one for your needs. Here are some of the most common types:

  • JPEG: This file format is best for photographs, as it can support a wide range of colors and tones. However, it does not support transparency, so it is not suitable for images with a transparent background.
  • PNG: Unlike JPEG, PNG supports transparency, making it great for logos and graphics with a transparent background. However, it is not ideal for photographs, as it does not support as many colors and can result in larger file sizes.
  • GIF: This file format is best for animated graphics, as it can support multiple frames. However, it does not support as many colors as JPEG or PNG, and is not suitable for photographs.

Transparency in Images

Transparency in images refers to the property of an image where parts of it are transparent, allowing the background to show through. When an image has a transparent background, it can be overlaid on other images or backgrounds without having a white or colored box around it.

There are two types of transparency: full transparency and partial transparency. Full transparency means an area of the image is completely transparent, while partial transparency means an area of the image is partially transparent. This can be useful for creating subtle effects or layering images on top of each other.

Using Image Editing Software

To create an image with a transparent background, you will need to use image editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP. Both of these programs allow you to create and save images in different file formats, including those with a transparent background.

To create an image with transparency, you will typically need to use the software’s layer tools to create a separate layer with the part of the image you want to be transparent. You can then save the image as a PNG or another file format that supports transparency.


File Format Advantages Disadvantages
JPEG Supports wide range of colors, good for photographs Does not support transparency
PNG Supports transparency, good for logos and graphics with transparent backgrounds Not ideal for photographs, can result in larger file sizes
GIF Good for animated graphics, supports multiple frames Does not support as many colors as JPEG or PNG, not suitable for photographs

Understanding the different types of image file formats and transparency can help you create and save images that meet your needs, whether it be for a photograph or a graphic with a transparent background. Using image editing software can also allow you to create custom images with transparency, providing you with even more options for your projects.

Benefits of Using Transparent Backgrounds

Transparent backgrounds are becoming increasingly popular in the digital world these days. They are images without any background color or background image, allowing users to see everything behind the image. Furthermore, transparent backgrounds are becoming essential for professional photography, graphic design, and web development.

  • Flexibility: Transparent backgrounds are incredibly flexible, allowing users to use them in different designs, backgrounds, and colors, without worrying about the image’s interference. This flexibility makes transparent backgrounds ideal for web designers, graphic designers, and photographers, as they can take a single image and add it to several different web pages, designs or images.
  • Professional Appearance: One of the most significant benefits of transparent backgrounds is their professional appearance. Images with transparent backgrounds give a sophisticated look to websites, marketing banners, brochures, and other digital materials. By using a transparent background, users can bring a professional look to their images, which is essential for business and branding.
  • Versatility: Transparent backgrounds allow users to create unique, visually appealing designs. With transparent backgrounds, designers can layer different images to create a stunning visual effect, and also add unique effects, such as transparency and shadows. By experimenting with different designs, designers can add new life to their images and make them stand out among their competitors.

How to Create Transparent Backgrounds

Creating a transparent background starts with selecting an image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or online photo editors like Canva, Fotor or Pixlr. Once an image is selected, users start editing and removing any background color in the image. This process varies depending on the software, but the result is always the same – removing the background and saving the image with a transparent background.

Additionally, some images have a pre-existing transparent background, meaning that the background disappears automatically when users upload them. Common image formats that support transparency include PNG, GIF, and SVG. When users save an image in these formats with the transparent background, they can use them all over the web without worrying about color or interference.

Software Pros Cons
Adobe Photoshop
  • Advanced editing tools
  • Supports multiple file formats
  • High-quality images
  • Expensive
  • Steep learning curve
  • Requires powerful computer
  • Easy to use
  • Templates available for quick editing
  • Free plan available
  • More basic editing tools
  • Less control over image quality
  • Paid plan required for certain features
Online Photo Editors
  • No download required
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Accessible
  • Less advanced tools compared to software
  • Image quality not always the highest
  • May require payment for certain features

Overall, the benefits of using transparent backgrounds are numerous. They give a professional feel, are versatile, and allow for flexibility when designing digital materials. By understanding how to create transparent backgrounds and the benefits they offer, users can take their digital design projects to the next level.

How to Create a Transparent Background in Adobe Photoshop

Having a transparent background in an image is essential when it comes to working with designs, logos, and other graphics. Adobe Photoshop is the go-to software for designers, and it offers a variety of options to create stunning visuals. Here’s how to create a transparent background in Adobe Photoshop:

  • Step 1: Open the image in Photoshop
  • Step 2: Unlock the layers
  • Step 3: Select the Magic Wand tool
  • Step 4: Click on the background color to select it
  • Step 5: Delete the background

By following these simple steps, you can create a transparent background in no time. However, there are other ways to achieve a transparent background in Photoshop, and we’ll explore them next.

If the first method doesn’t work for you, try using the “Eraser” tool, or the “Background Eraser” tool, which provides a more accurate way of deleting the background. Additionally, you can use the “Layer Mask” feature to hide the background entirely, or the “Selections” feature to isolate the image and remove the background.

Another way to create a transparent background in Photoshop is by using the “Save for Web” option. This feature allows you to export the image with a transparent background in various formats, including PNG and GIF.

Format Pros Cons
PNG Supports high-quality images and transparency May result in large files and slow loading times
GIF Provides animation options and transparency Supports limited colors and image quality

Choosing the right format for your image depends on several factors, such as image quality, file size, and loading speed. PNG is ideal for high-quality images, while GIF is perfect for smaller file sizes and animation. Regardless of the format, creating a transparent background in Adobe Photoshop is simple and easy.

Transparency vs Opacity: Understanding the Difference

When talking about a picture with a transparent background, it’s important to understand the difference between transparency and opacity. Transparency refers to how see-through an image is, while opacity refers to how solid or opaque an image appears.

  • Transparency: A transparent image has areas that are completely see-through, allowing whatever is behind the image to show through. Transparent images are often used in graphic design, web design and even presentations to allow the background to become a part of the overall design.
  • Opacity: An opaque image, on the other hand, has areas that are completely solid and impenetrable. This means that the background cannot be seen through the image. Opaque images are often used when you want the subject of the image to stand out and be the main focus.

What is an Image with a Transparent Background?

An image with a transparent background is one where the background is see-through and allows whatever is underneath it to show through. This is often used in graphic design, web design, and even presentations to create a more interesting and seamless look.

When working with graphics, it’s important to understand how transparency works, as this can have a big impact on the overall look of your work. The level of transparency you choose will depend largely on the look you’re going for and the context in which you’re using the image.

How to Create an Image with a Transparent Background?

In order to create an image with a transparent background, you’ll need to use a graphic design or photo editing software that supports transparency. Some popular options include Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and Canva.

Once you’ve opened your image in the software of your choice, you can then use the tools provided to create transparency. The most common way to do this is to use the Magic Wand or Lasso tool to select the background, and then delete it, leaving only the subject of the image. The result should be an image with a transparent background.

Software Supported Transparency
Adobe Photoshop Yes
Canva Yes

Creating an image with a transparent background can take some practice, but the end result is often worth it, as it can give your work a more professional and seamless look. With the right tools and a basic understanding of transparency, you can create stunning graphics with transparent backgrounds that will impress anyone who sees them.

How to Add Transparency to an Image in Microsoft PowerPoint

If you’re looking to add an image with a transparent background to a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, it can be very helpful to know how to create transparency in your images. Fortunately, PowerPoint offers a number of tools that can help you do just that. Follow the steps below to learn how to add transparency to an image in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Steps to Create Transparency in an Image in PowerPoint

  • Step 1: Insert the image you wish to use into your PowerPoint presentation.
  • Step 2: Click on the image to select it.
  • Step 3: Navigate to the “Format” tab, then locate the “Color” section.
  • Step 4: In the “Color” section, click on “Remove Background.”
  • Step 5: PowerPoint will then automatically select the areas of the image that can be removed. Adjust the selection, as needed, by clicking and dragging the corner handles.
  • Step 6: Click “Keep Changes” to apply the transparency to your image.

Tips for Creating a Transparent Background in PowerPoint

If you want to create a transparent background in PowerPoint, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • Not all images are suitable for a transparent background. Make sure your image has clear edges and distinct areas of color.
  • Don’t remove too much of the image. Only remove the background areas that you need to, or else you may make the image harder to see or understand.
  • If you need to make additional adjustments, use the “Mark Areas to Keep” and “Mark Areas to Remove” tools to fine-tune the selection.


By following these simple steps in Microsoft PowerPoint, you can easily create images with transparent backgrounds. This can be especially useful when creating presentations or other visual materials that require clean, uncluttered images. Remember to choose your images carefully and adjust the selection as needed to ensure that your images look great and are easy to understand.

Pros Cons
Quick and easy to do. Not all images are suitable for a transparent background.
Can make presentations and documents look cleaner and more professional. Removing too much of the image can make it hard to see or understand.

Overall, adding transparency to an image in PowerPoint can be a powerful tool that can help you create better presentations and visual materials. By following the steps outlined above and keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to easily create images with transparent backgrounds that are both effective and stylish.

Tools for Removing Backgrounds from Images

A transparent background in an image is a useful feature when you want to overlay it on another image. And there are times when you don’t want a background cluttering your photo or artwork. That’s where background removal software comes in handy. Instead of using Photoshop’s Pen Tool to clip an object out, you can use a specialized software tool to remove the background quickly and efficiently.

  • Clipping Magic: Clipping Magic is an online photo editing software that specializes in background removal. It has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use. Clipping Magic uses a combination of AI technology and human editors to create the most accurate cutouts possible. It also allows you to adjust the edges of the cutout to fit perfectly with the new background or object.
  • Remove.bg: Remove.bg is another online photo editing tool for removing backgrounds. It uses AI technology to determine the edges of the object and create a clean cutout. Remove.bg can output images with transparent backgrounds or replace the background with a solid color or image of your choosing. The best part of Remove.bg is its speed. It takes less than five seconds to remove the background of a photo.
  • Photoshop: Though not a specialized background removal tool, Photoshop is capable of removing backgrounds. Photoshop has a wide range of tools and techniques to accomplish this. The most popular technique is using the Pen Tool to select and remove the background. It can be time-consuming to get the selection perfect, but once you do, you can save the selection as a path and apply it to other images.

It’s important to note that no background removal tool is perfect. There are situations where the software may struggle, such as images with complicated edges or similar colors between the background and object. In these cases, a combination of manual editing and software removal may be necessary.

Here’s a comparison table of the three tools mentioned above:

Tool Pros Cons
Clipping Magic Accurate cutouts, intuitive interface, edge adjustment Not free, requires an internet connection
Remove.bg Fast, accurate, outputs transparent backgrounds Not free, limited editing options, output quality may vary
Photoshop Wide range of editing tools, can save selections for future use Expensive, steep learning curve, time-consuming for complex images

Overall, using a specialized background removal tool can save you time and effort. They are especially helpful when you need to remove backgrounds from multiple images. Try out different tools to see which one works best for your needs.

Examples of Creative Uses for Transparent Backgrounds

Transparent backgrounds are a clever way to enhance the visual appeal of images, especially when used correctly for creative purposes. It is a technique that involves removing the solid color backgrounds from an image to give it a see-through effect. Here are seven creative ways to use transparent backgrounds:

  • Logo Design: Transparent backgrounds are a perfect fit for logos, particularly if the image is intended for web use. With this technique, you can remove the white or colored backgrounds from your logo, making it easier to blend the image against any background. A logo with a transparent background will also lend itself well to various marketing materials, including business cards, flyers, and websites.
  • Product Photos: Transparent backgrounds are also a great option for product photography. By isolating the product from its background, the image becomes more visually appealing and engaging. The transparency allows an overlaid photo to blend seamlessly with its background, creating a clean and polished final product.
  • Illustrations: Illustrations, too, can benefit from transparent backgrounds. When finished with the help of a transparent background, illustrations can be placed over a background, allowing them to be utilized easily in any context. They look great on social media, websites, and even when printed on marketing materials.
  • Animations: Transparent backgrounds can add depth to your animations by allowing video content to merge with the background. When used in videos, animated content that has been made with the assistance of a transparent background will appear as though it is floating over the video, making for a more professional and polished final result.
  • Website Design: For websites, transparent backgrounds are incredibly useful. Utilizing transparent background images and elements can make website pages appear more full, modern, and layered. Transparent background elements can also tie multiple pages together, creating a coherent and visually appealing user experience that leads to increased engagement.
  • Collages: Do you want to put individual images together and combine them as a single seamless image? Transparent backgrounds might be an essential tool here. Whether it’s a simple picture collage or a more complicated work of art, the transparent background allows for a much more polished and well-manicured final collage.
  • Layering: Finally, transparent backgrounds lend themselves perfectly to layered images. Many photo editing software applications, such as Photoshop, allow you to layer different pictures on top of one another. By using a transparent background, you can make the underlying images visible while keeping the focus on the top layer, creating a creative visual experience.


Transparent backgrounds are an amazing tool in a graphic designer’s arsenal. They let designers manipulate images in creative and engaging ways, adding layering and depth. From logo design to product photography to collages, the creative ways that transparent backgrounds can be used are limitless. Innovative visual designs can make a product, website, or design portfolio more interesting and attention-grabbing with the use of a transparent background.

What is it called when a picture has a transparent background?

1. What is transparency in a picture?

Transparency refers to the ability of an image to have a clear or see-through background. In other words, transparency allows one to see through a certain layer of an image and observe whatever is behind it.

2. What is a transparent background?

A transparent background is a background with no color or image, allowing for the background layer to show through. When a picture has a transparent background, you can see whatever is behind it.

3. What is the format that supports transparency?

PNG is the most common image format that supports transparency. The transparency in a PNG image is created by simply designating certain pixels as transparent, where the underlying layer or background becomes visible.

4. How do you know if an image has a transparent background?

If an image has a transparent background, it will typically appear with a checkered pattern in the background or layer thumbnail. This checkered pattern signifies the transparent areas of the image.

5. What are some common uses of transparent images?

Transparent images are often used in graphic design and web development, where the image is overlaid on top of another image or used as an icon. They are also commonly used as logos, watermarks, and stickers.

6. How do I create a transparent background in an image?

To create a transparent background in an image, you can use photo editing software like Photoshop or GIMP. Simply select the area you want to make transparent and delete it, or use the eraser tool to erase the background layer.

7. Can any image have a transparent background?

No, not all images can have a transparent background. Only certain file formats, like PNG, support transparency. Additionally, some images may have complex backgrounds or multiple objects layered on top of each other, making it difficult to create a transparent background.

Closing thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to learn about what it’s called when a picture has a transparent background. Now that you know what transparency is, you can use it to enhance your designs and make your images stand out. Don’t hesitate to experiment with transparency and see where it takes you. Come back soon for more helpful articles