Best programs to make an image background transparent
Movavi Photo Editor
Best for: Retouching photos and designing multi-layer posters
OS: Windows 10 (64-bit) or later, Mac OS X 10.15 or later
Price: $9.99-54.99/month (no lifetime license available)
G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5, 12,356 reviews
Adobe® Photoshop® has long been an industry standard – so much so that people usually just say something was “photoshopped” or “’shopped” when they mean that a photo was edited. The software includes tools to create transparent backgrounds, layer different photo elements into a single project, retouch images for cohesiveness and attractiveness, and a lot more. It’s a robust platform, but it’s not the most user-friendly, especially for beginners. Adobe also does not offer a lifetime license. Instead, users have to opt to pay for a monthly license through the Adobe® Creative Cloud®.
Integration with other Adobe programs, like Lightroom® and Illustrator®
Neural filters offer a range of effects for backgrounds and scenery
Library of templates for social posts, posters, etc
Professional color grading features
Video and animation capabilities
Includes cloud storage
Difficult to learn
No lifetime license available
Not a good choice for batch photo editing
Best for: Performing simple photo editing tasks for free
OS: Any (with internet access)
Price: Free (with paid features) or $119/year
PCMag rating: 4 out of 5
Canva is a free online photo editing platform with a premium subscription option and paid features. Essentially, you can use Canva at no cost, with no watermark, if you stick to the free stock photos, clipart, fonts, and templates. To remove the watermark from paid features, you can purchase a one-time use license or go with a Canva Pro account with an annual subscription. If you opt to pay for the annual subscription, you’ll get access to many of the paid features, but some will still require a one-time payment. Canva includes a lot of templates for different types of marketing and artistic projects, including graphics for different social platforms, print and online media, and others. It’s not the most robust photo editing program, but it’s a good option for many creators on a budget.
Multiple template options
Integrated stock photo library
Large fonts library
No watermark on free graphics and images
Easy drag-and-drop editing
Very user-friendly for beginners
Doesn’t include advanced editing tools
No way to automatically remove backgrounds
Paying for premium features can add up
Best for: Playing with old-school graphics editing tools
OS: Windows 1.0-10 (prior to 2017 Fall Creators Update)
AlternativeTo rating: 4.6 out of 5
Microsoft Paint was included with Windows for more than 30 years. However, starting with an update in 2017, Microsoft Paint is no longer included or supported. Users can, however, find and download MS Paint for free from a few different websites. We recommend exercising caution if you go this route, as some downloads may not be legitimate and some may include malware. Users can also find a Microsoft Paint emulator online through CanvasPaint.org. Unlike most of the other programs we’ve reviewed here, MS Paint is really not a photo editor. You can upload photos into the program and manually edit them with rudimentary tools, but this program is more of a novelty than a useful tool at this point.
Import photos into the program
Flip/rotate and stretch/skew tools
Basic color editing capabilities
Simple user interface has a retro feel
Create fun, old school graphics with the spray paint tool
No longer supported by Microsoft
Manual background editing is extremely time-consuming
Best for: Making a photo background transparent online for free
OS: Any (with internet access)
Unlike most of the other programs here, LunaPic is an online program specifically designed to remove backgrounds from images. It’s a free tool, which is great for photo editors on a budget, but, despite its simplicity, it’s not the most intuitive software. The link to remove the entire background (instead of a selected color) is available but isn’t very obvious to a user who doesn’t know to look for it. Also, while the program can automatically turn your photo’s background invisible, its trim function isn’t very precise and leaves some of the background or may cut out some of the edges of the main subject of the image.
One-click feature to make a selected color transparent
One-click feature to create a transparent background
Provides a way to remove image backgrounds for free
Convert to a transparent background online with no download
Lacks many photo editing tools
Automated trim to remove background isn’t very precise
Best for: Quickly removing an image’s background online
OS: Any (with internet access)
G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 15 reviews
remove.bg is an online program that allows users to remove backgrounds or convert a white background to transparent. This free web app allows users to make a picture background transparent in a single step. You can download a preview PNG file of your image without paying for anything or creating an account. If you want to download an HD image, though, you’ll need to create a free remove.bg account.
One-click background removal
Simple user interface
Fast background removal
Free preview image download without account
Requires users to sign up to download HD images
Lacks photo editing tools
No customizability on background removal
Best for: Creating images from templates on a mobile device
OS: Any desktop (with internet access), iOS 14.0 or higher, Android OS 8.0 or higher
TechRadar rating: 4 out of 5
Adobe® Express is Adobe’s online and mobile photo editing platform. It’s essentially designed to be a lighter, more user-friendly alternative to Photoshop® for users who want to create images for social media, websites, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and print media. Along with the ability to get a transparent background for an uploaded image, it also includes multiple templates for different platforms and media.
Pre-made image templates for social media
Image resizing and cropping
Convert from JPG to PNG or PNG to JPG
User-friendly for beginners
Works on any desktop with a compatible browser
Easily remove backgrounds from images
Requires a monthly subscription
Lacks advanced photo editing tools and features
How to create a transparent background with Movavi Photo Editor
How to make the background of a picture transparent with Adobe® Photoshop®
How to make a white background transparent with Microsoft Paint
How to make a picture’s background transparent with Canva
Summary: How to choose the right program for you
Frequently asked questions
How do you make a PNG background transparent?
Use Movavi Photo Editor:
Import your PNG using the Open photo button.
Open the Change Background tab.
Remove the background automatically or manually.
Save your edited PNG.
Does a PNG file have a transparent background?
PNG (short for portable network graphics) is a type of image file used by web designers and graphic designers because it offers the option to create images with fully or partially transparent backgrounds. In fact, PNG is the only image file format that supports transparent backgrounds.
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