How to remove background from image

  stlucia 08:44 24 Dec 03

I have scanned a black and white logo from some original artwork, and want to remove all the white background, or make it transparent. Any ideas how I can do this please?

The only image editing software I have at the moment are Ulead iPhoto Plus 4 (which I use for scanning), Irfanview, and MS Paint. I can probably edit each individual white pixel and make it transparent, but is there some simple way to do it?

  Pesala 08:48 24 Dec 03

From Irfan View or ULead (no doubt), save in GIF format and check the transparency option, then select the white as the transparent colour.

For 24-bit colour images you can save as PNG and still have transparency.

  stlucia 08:53 24 Dec 03

Thanks Pesela, that sounds like what I'm looking for.

Happy Christmas to you and all the other readers/contributors.

  Pesala 10:50 24 Dec 03

click here for some tips on Irfan View

  stlucia 11:49 24 Dec 03

Thanks, that's a useful page.

I'll click resolved for now, even though I can't try out your suggestion until this evening.

  stlucia 13:06 07 Jan 04

Your response was so concise and to the point that I was sure it answered my question, but having played with Irfanview over the hols I still haven't been able to get a transparent background. I've been able to change the image's background colour (using the edit palette function) to exactly the same colour as the object I wanted to place it onto, which has got me going for the moment. But that doesn't help me if I want to place my image over another one, and have the other one show through.

When I click on the transparency option in the save-as Gif dialogue box, and then specify which colour (the background one) I want to make transparent, it doesn't appear to make it transparent. When I subsequently place the image into an Adobe Pagemaker publication, the background is still there and obscures the underlying text and images. Have I misunderstood what they mean by "transparency", or could there be an incompatibility with my admittedly old version of Pagemaker?

  Pesala 13:58 07 Jan 04

You say it is a black and white image, so why do you need to edit the background colour? If it is transparent, it shouldn't obscure any text or other graphic that it is placed on top of. Check in Windows Explorer preview to see if it is really transparent, or place it in Word.

It might be a limitation of PageMaker 5.0. My version of PageMaker won't even import *.gif images or paste them from the clipboard. That shows you how old I am (~_~)

What can sometimes happen is that the background colour becomes dithered with two similar colours. Clicking on one colour doesn't make the other one transparent so the background looks grey or speckled instead of white or transparent.

If you get stuck email the image to me, and I'll take a look at it.

  Pesala 14:01 07 Jan 04

right-click here and save to your hard-drive, then place that in PageMaker to see if it exhibits the same problem as your image.

  stlucia 14:12 07 Jan 04

I was placing it on an orange background in Pagemaker, and didn't want the logo to appear on a white "paper" rectangle on the orange background, like a post-it note. As I say, I solved the immediate problem by using Irfanview to give it a corresponding orange background, which then became "invisible" when placed into the Pagemaker orange document.

I don't think dither is the problem, because I initially checked that all the background was 255 white, then changed it to orange, and it blends in seamlessly with the same orange specified in Pagemaker.

I'll bring the image to work and try it in MS Word to see if it's a Pagemaker (I think mine is v6.0) limitation. Then I'll email it to you if I still can't sort it -- thanks for the offer.

  stlucia 08:44 08 Jan 04

Thanks for the lotus image, Pesala. It behaves the same way as my image does when I place it into a Pagemaker 6.0 document, so it's obviously a Pagemaker shortcoming.

I've tested them both in MS Word at work today, and they're both transparent (once I've figured out the correct Word settings).

Thanks for sticking with it.

  Pesala 12:02 09 Jan 04

For what was a leading DTP program, it is really surprising that even version 6.0 cannot handle transparent GIF images. My copy of PageMaker is dated 7/3/1994 so one shouldn't expect too much of it. Windows 3.1 isn't much older than that.

If you cannot afford the high price of InDesign try Serif Page Plus 9.0 click here. It is not in the same league yet, but it is getting close, and it has some features than even InDesign lacks - at a fraction of the price.

Page Plus supports all of the leading graphic formats, and produces high quality PDF files and websites.

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