How to Quickly Remove a Background in Photoshop


If you use Photoshop regularly, you may be in the same boat as me and find yourself needing to remove backgrounds from photos more often than you’d like to admit. Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal that make it simple to remove unwanted background elements with ease. Here’s how to quickly remove a background in Photoshop!

Use the Pen Tool

The Pen Tool is one of Photoshop’s most powerful tools, but it can be difficult to use effectively. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to removing that background. Note: If you have access to Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, exporting with those programs often yields more accurate results. They both have their version of the Pen Tool that can remove pixels precisely and easily. But if you don’t have those programs, then Photoshop will do just fine. Here are some quick tips for using it: Use anchor points: Anchor points are essential when using the Pen Tool because they determine how lines will connect and what kind of shape your object will take on as it approaches an edge or corner.

Go to Select>Color Range

The Magic Wand tool can be useful when removing a background from a complex image, but it often misses spots. When that happens, take matters into your own hands and use Select>Color Range. With Color Range selected, you can choose any of Photoshop’s color-analysis tools (like Fuzzy and Similar) to select areas of color in your image. If you’re feeling up for an advanced challenge, try clicking on Reveal All at the bottom of the Color Range’s dialog box—this option lets you pick individual colors from your image instead of entire ranges at once. By taking control over which areas are selected, you’ll end up with far fewer mistakes than if you left it up to Autoselect.

Select an area with similar colors to your background.

To start, identify an area of your photo that matches up with your background—this is your target area. Once you’ve found it, zoom in and make sure that no pixels from any other part of your image are showing up. If there are stray bits and pieces around, select them with your lasso tool (remember: right-click to access layers) and then remove them. You can also do some cloning here if you need to—just make sure it’s on its layer so you can go back later and fix anything that needs work.

Fill Selection with Black

One of my favorite and most widely used methods for removing backgrounds is Fill Selection with Black. It’s incredibly simple, but it can yield very impressive results. This method only works if your subject (be it an object or a person) and its background are both on different layers in your document. The order of operations will look something like this: Select > Mask > Invert > Fill Selection with Black > Done! Here’s how to execute each step.

Change Blending Mode of Layer to Soft Light

One of my favorite ways to remove the background is by setting your layer’s blending mode to Soft Light. It gives you that extra punch that helps it look realistic and seamless. Here’s how you do it: Click on your base (background) layer, hit Cmd/Ctrl + J, then Cmd/Ctrl + T. In those two menus make sure you’ve selected Stack from the drop-down menu and click OK. The new layer will appear above your base layer and fill with white. Once it appears, change its blending mode to Soft Light.

Create another layer and fill it with white, set it on Soft Light Blending Mode, then delete the selected area. Voila!
It’s gone. In most cases, your image will still have some visible shading from it on your original layer, but you can use your background layer’s Opacity control (it might be labeled as Fill) to lessen that can vist



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