How to create a transparent background for an image with Gimp

The following will explain how to create an image with a transparent background with the freely available tool Gimp.

GIF and PNG images can have transparent backgrounds. JPEG can not have a transparent background. Lets take the following example picture.

It look good on a white background but not so good on another background.

Start Gimp and open your file via File -> Open and selecting your file.

Select Tools -> Selection Tools -> By Color Select (or another method which is more appropriate to you).

Select in the Layer window Layer -> Transparency -> Add Alpha Channel. Or just use Cntr+X to cut out the selected color.

Save the file in either png or gif format.

About Lars Vogel

Lars Vogel is the founder and CEO of the vogella GmbH and works as Eclipse and Android consultant, trainer and book author. He is a regular speaker at international conferences, He is the primary author of With more than one million visitors per month this website is one of the central sources for Java, Eclipse and Android programming information.
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