Photoshop Elements How to Remove Background – How to Make a Transparent Background

84 Replies to “Photoshop Elements How to Remove Background – How to Make a Transparent Background”

  1. George, Just curious, on the very difficult photo of the girl with the pink hair on a 'solid' color background … couldn't you treat that like a chromakey/green screen technique?

  2. Again you make it all look so easy, George. And yes, replacing the background is straightforward enough. However, with me it's always the lasso tool – polygonal or otherwise – combined with the refine edge that I continue to have problems with. Maybe, just maybe I'll get there eventually, but at the moment it is a source of irritating frustration!

  3. George, great video on a tool I hesitate to use. Never had much luck with refined edge until this week. I think the main issue is I was trying to make it work on some very complicated selections. For me, I do a lot of landscape and the problem is usually trying to change the sky or more often when I am trying to work several parts of different photos together. The toughest selection I face would involve getting around all those leaves on many different trees so the new sunlight or new sky can show through. I would compare this to your issue with the hair in the photo of the lady. I did stumble onto a technique that does give me some success getting around the leaves. What I do is make my refine edge tool very large like 350 px and then try making a selection that covers a much of the stuff I want to select as well as some of the outside area. What happens is as the parameters of my area get larger the distinction seems to get more obvious to the refined edge tool. I then clean up any missed areas with a slightly smaller brush 200 px or 100 px.  I don't know if this would be good enough to meet your standard but I was surprised at how far I got by doing this. Another idea would be to make the selected photo into a black in white and kick up the contrast, copy and move the layer mask up to the original or copy of the original in full color and garbage can the black and white layer.

    Some food for thought. Still, in the experimental stage with this tool, it is amazing when it works well.

    Thank you, George


  4. My question how do you pull in the background, my backgrounds are loaded to a texture file to find them, however it comes in as a separate file…hope you understand . Is it something with tiles?

  5. Hi George. I picked up a little better understanding about the refine edge tool from this tutorial. Thanks. And thanks for letting us with PSE know there are certain situations where the refine edge tool will not work, even for a skilled master of PSE like you.

    After watching many of your tutorials with the lasso tool and after watching InfoPuppet's tutorial using the magnetic lasso tool, I was wondering if you could do a tutorial when it is best to use the regular lasso tool, the magnetic lasso tool and the polygonal lasso tool. I have seen you use the regular and polygonal lasso tools but never the magnetic lasso tool. Are there any situations you would use the magnetic lasso tool?

  6. Great video for more practice, George! My refine edge tool is working much better with your videos and technique. Thanks!

  7. Really, really helpful, thank you! I am working on a project with products, what is the technique if you do not want a back ground at all just the image, jpeg? I have Photoshop elements 13 🙂
    Thank you in advance!!!!

  8. Really helpful video, thanks.. I've search for this long time.. I just have a quas. when i did al this .. how can i move this element that i just remove in other corner or somewhere else?
    Thanks, Taša

  9. Very useful. I have been looking for some time to find a tutorial that explains removing backgrounds. Nothing has come close to your tutorial, many thanks.

  10. When I go to "recently edited file" it doesn't open like how it does here at 9:45.

    How can get that to happen for me??

  11. When I want to add my background, it opens up in a whole new layer. It doesn't stay on the layer you are working in like yours did. What am I doing wrong?

  12. can someone direct me to a video where i can remove part of a photo and replace it with another image — ie a face or changing the reflection of a mirror (if i take a picture of a mirror then iam in the picture…how do i cut the reflection out and replace it with something else.)

  13. Two things I noted that you need to remind people: 1. When you are using the lasso and you want to move the picture up, You need to remind people to hold down the mouse button. If you don't, you have to start all over again. 2. You need to tell us how you got that green color around the dog. Thank you.

  14. Great video! I have run into one issue I can't seem to figure out (I'm a newbie!) When I open the photo I want to use as my new background, It opens as a whole new tab, which prevents me from dragging the new background in. I'm assuming there is a siple setting in Photoshop that I am missing? Any help is greatly appreciated!

  15. I find your tutorials very thorough and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. Of all the tutorials I have been watching, yours are the best.

  16. Why does the book Dummies for Photoshop Elements 14 not work together with Photoshop Elements 14 software ? I can’t remove an object from the picture using the lasoo , with healing brush and content aware tool. It just does not wotk!!! Frustrating.

  17. Was with you until I pulled in another image. Could not drag it into the original, edited image. Said source was same. Also, my image had no header to drag to the layers column. It did populate that column and said background but would not let me drag that layer. What am I not doing?

  18. Gosh George you make that look so easy… I have a dog that has wild hair when she was pup and I have tried numerous times to do the refine edge and I just can't get it… I'll take your suggestion and keep on practicing. Thanks for another cool video.

  19. Hi George, if not replacing background can the picture be saved just with the transparent background? Thank you for the video

  20. Great video thank you. I have same issue as SJ Owen and also, when I place my edited image over another image in 'pages' it has a grey edge around which doesn't look great.

  21. Thanks one more question when I add the picture to the shirt it says the dpi is too low how high should it be and do you have a video to raise it?

  22. I figured it out. Tee springs has their own dpi which means they only allow me to get the picture so big

  23. FINALLY someone has explained this properly. You have just saved me many, many hours of trying to delete backgrounds with the eraser tool. Thank you.

  24. Hi George, after watching your videos I decided to buy the Photoshop Elements 2018. I had been hesitating between the subscription to Photoshop CC and the purchase of Elements. Your explanations are so clear, you make Elements so easy to learn that I decided to buy the Elements and avoid the hassle of subscriptions (so many negative comments on internet that make you doubt). I installed the program and started practicing (the dog background) right away. However, is there a way of making the fonts in the menus a bit bigger? The menus, the fonts, everything is so tiny!. Can you help please? Thanks!

  25. Cheers George.
    Is this the same principle for removing the background of text that you created in photoshop elements? Do you have a tutorial based on removing the background from text?

    Thanks in advance.

  26. I really wish you could shorten this up, talk less and should show the process. I appreciate your video, but when in the middle of problem solving an issue – very difficult to listen to 12+min video than could have been 2-3 mins.

  27. Hi, very informative and have learnt a lot! However, the refine edge tool does not eliminate – it leaves part of it still there no matter how many times I go over it. The settings are the same as in your demo – any suggestions? Thank you

  28. George, great video I have just acquired the product and followed your instructions to the T. The problem that I have is that when I selected the "Refine Edge" /view option / Overlay my photo color has now changed to total red! Why would this be and how do I fix this? I cannot attach a screenshot else I would have shown you what it did!

  29. I have PhotoShop Elements 10 not sure how to do the refine edge. I'm not able to refine it like you did… Help!

  30. When I go to put in the new picture it everything disapears and I can't figure out how to get the picture there like you did

  31. ya how do you do that i literally can not figure it out it goes right into the new picture i made and I don't understand what you are saying to other people

  32. I just want to thank you for taking the time to make this video …. so helpful to me …. and just wanted to add my note of gratitude and send all my best wishes for you in the new year ….

  33. Omg ok I’m clearly doing something wrong. I have Photoshop Elements 2019 but thought I might still be able to get the general idea. First my left side tools do not even look like this, but I looked around until I found something that said “replace background.” I selected that, outlined my item, selected Black- and then it changed my ITEM to black instead of the background. I just give up!!🤣😂
    I’d give anything for written step by step instructions and I cannot seem to find any anywhere lol

  34. is there a way to turn off XMP Files in Photoshop elements 15? they pop up every time i edit a raw file. and i have to Delete those every time & it takes time to do that especially when i am editing tons of photos at one time. if there is a way to turn off those stupid XMP Files please Explain how that is done. it is Driving me NUTS!!!!!!!

  35. George. I’m thinking of buying Photoshop Element (not Premier). Can I do this with that software or I have to get Premier? Thanks

  36. George, Great tutorial on using the refine edge tool. It's a real game changer when making selections. I have a question which is unrelated to this tutorial, but perhaps you may have a tutorial in your playlist that I couldn't seem to find. It's related to the image of the dog; more specifically the green under the dog's chin. I have several dog images with the same exact green tone under the dog's chin. Is this what is known as a color cast? If so, do you have a tutorial how to remove a color cast? If not, perhaps that could be a subject for a future tutorial.


  37. More Great Photoshop Elements videos

  38. I am having issues with refine edge part of the procedure, the entire image is orange, not just the back ground.. i have tried on JPG and PDF files. Please advise what i am doing wrong,

  39. Very clear. I hope that little beagle stays away from the wildlife in the valley? (I have a very similar picture– Yellowstone is amazing, but so dangerous). Wonderful explanation, and I can't wait to try it out. Thanks for taking it step by step.

    EDIT: I just got it working (honestly, a perfect match). I am stunned at how nice it looks on my pictures. I had to do it a couple of times to get the hang of the refined edge tool. Thanks, this is a huge step forward in making my pictures look better.

  40. George i am not sure why but i cannot add a new background to a Transparent picture. i go to file then open recently edited file. the file does come in but it doesn't pop up in a window its just another file opened right next to my Transparent picture and i cannot add the background no matter what i do. can you please help me out here? What am i doing wrong?

  41. I am using PSE 2019 but your 2017 video still comes top in a Youtube search for removing backgrounds in PSE! I am finding that Refine Edge is doing something different and I can't work out if that is a setting I am missing or a change in how the software works. Using the Refine Edge tool, I have checked that the visible settings are the same as yours and when I stroke the brush to extend my selection area the background area correctly increases size where the brush has covered. However, when I take my finger off the mouse button, that increase is lost. What am I missing please?
    Many thanks for the video and your follow up help! Nick

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