Adobe Photoshop - Eliminate White Backgrounds In Your Photoshop Documents The Easy Way (6/7/CS)


When you create a new Photoshop document, the default background is white. A white canvas is easier on the eyes, but it often becomes a problem after you place the file in a page layout application. The white background tags along for the ride and becomes quite a nuisance. To get rid of the white background in Photoshop, you can take the time to silhouette the subject matter with a clipping path or mask the background with an alpha channel. Doing either of these things takes time, though, and results aren't always favorable. Instead, let's start from the beginning.


To create a transparent layer:


  1. Choose File > New to open the New dialog box
  2. Specify the image size, resolution, and color mode as usual
  3. Choose Transparent from the Background Contents pop-up menu. (In versions 6/7, select the Transparent option button in the Contents pane.)
  4. Click OK

In doing so, you create a document with a transparent working layer rather than a white background layer. Now, you just have to keep it that way in the page layout program. The secret is in how you save the file.


To preserve transparency in a file:


  1. When you're ready to save your document, choose File > Save As
  2. Name the file and specify where you want to save it
  3. Choose Photoshop or TIFF from the Format pop-up menu and make sure the Layers check box is selected. (In version 6, you must first select the Saving Files preferences option Enable Advanced TIFF Save Options check box to save layers and transparency in a TIFF file.)
  4. Name the file and specify where you want to save it
  5. Choose Photoshop or TIFF from the Format pop-up menu and make sure the Layers check box is selected. (In version 6, you must first select the Saving Files preferences option Enable Advanced TIFF Save Options check box to save layers and transparency in a TIFF file.)
  6. Click Save
  7. If you selected a TIFF format, also select the Save Transparency check box in the resulting TIFF Options dialog box
  8. Click OK

Now, when you place the file in a page layout application (that supports transparent layers, such as Adobe InDesign), it imports without a white background and transparency effects are preserved.

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