How to Add Transparency in Photoshop


Photoshop allows you to create images with transparency (transparent backgrounds, layers or portions) using various transparency options through the opacity meter or the background options that appear when you create a new document. Furthermore, you can use the selection or eraser tools to make only some areas of your image transparent. People often add transparency in Photoshop when they are printing on paper with textured design or adding an image to a textured background on a website because the texture shows through in the transparent areas. With a little bit of practice you'll be adding transparency in Photoshop in no time.

Part 1
Creating a Transparent Background

Creating a Transparent Background on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

1
Go to File in the top menu and select "New." A new window will pop up where you can assign the properties of your new Photoshop document.

Creating a Transparent Background on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

2
A menu will pop up and under the section which says "Background Contents", where you should choose "Transparent". The button appears at the very bottom of the new document pop-up window.

Creating a Transparent Background on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

3
Press the OK button.

Creating a Transparent Background on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

4
Look at the Layer Window or the Layers tab in your document properties bar (it should already be open by default). The background layer should look like a checkered gray and white box (indicating that it is transparent).

Part 2
Making Layers Transparent

Making Layers Transparent on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

1
Select the layer that you want to make transparent by clicking on it from the list of layers in the Layers tab.

Making Layers Transparent on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

2
Click on the numeric box that appears next to Opacity at the top of the Layers tab. The default opacity is 100 percent.

Making Layers Transparent on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

3
Drag the arrow on the opacity meter that appears to change the opacity of the layer. If you want the layer to be completely transparent you should change the opacity to 0 percent.

Part 3
Creating Transparent Selections

Creating Transparent Selections on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

1
Select a layer that is not transparent, but make sure that the layers underneath it including the background layer are transparent.

Creating Transparent Selections on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

2
Create your selection using one of the selection tools.

Creating Transparent Selections on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

3
Click copy.

Creating Transparent Selections on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

4
Press delete. You should now have a hole in the image.

Creating Transparent Selections on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

5
Paste your copied selection onto a new layer.

Creating Transparent Selections on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

6
The area inside the selection that you had made will become transparent.

Part 4
Making Transparent Drawings

Making Transparent Drawings on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

1
Select a layer (must have more than 0 percent opacity, preferably should be 100 percent opaque). All of the underlying layers must be transparent.

Making Transparent Drawings on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

2
Pick the Eraser tool from the tool bar.

Making Transparent Drawings on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

3
Choose the size and shape of the eraser using the Options bar that appears when you have the Eraser tool selected.

Making Transparent Drawings on How to Add Transparency in Photoshop

4
Essentially, you will be deleting the areas that you "draw" in, exposing the transparent layers underneath.