How To Make A White Picture Transparent In MS Paint

Microsoft Paint comes with your latest version of Windows along with many other applications in the installation package. MS Paint might come off as some plain doodling software where you can create graphics with solid colors and sharp line-arts, where kids too young to utilize the internet go to play. And you’d be right. But there’s so much more to the program.

For starters, MS Paint provides never before seen shapes and brushes in the latest version. If you have been using MS Paint since the XP days or earlier ,you might recall paint being a very old drawing pad with limited tools. Personally, I used Paint when I had no internet (You and me, kid, we aren’t so different). The abstract so called “art” I made had me feeling like the Picasso of the computer world.

As Windows upgraded, so did MS Paint. The tools available now are far better than they were previously. In fact, I believe if you have the skills, it is possible to make great graphics just using MS Paint. Smooth paint brushes and crayon tips that are available now are my few favorite tools among all the other updates.

But there’s one magic thing that MS Paint can do, and I bet you thought you would have to throw out a hundred bucks to get it on Photoshop: MS Paint can turn white backgrounds on photos into transparent backgrounds.

You heard me right.

So What’s The Big Deal?

Why is having a transparent background something to smile about? Well, being able to make transparent pictures can certainly be useful if you want your image to be layered over something, perhaps for a website template. Transparency does not make your image completely invisible, so the title itself is a little misleading. It makes the image opaque, which means you can see the background showing through your image.

Okay, I’m sold. Teach Me How To Make My Image Transparent!

Follow these steps below and you’ll be using transparent photos in no time:

STEP 1: Go to Paint and locate ‘File’, and click ‘Open’. Find the picture you want to make transparent, then double-click on it so it opens in your Paint workspace.

STEP 2: If your image is small, use ‘Magnifying’ tool on the top bar on the left side of your screen, also known as ‘Tool’ palette, and select the area you want to make transparent.

STEP 3: Drop down the ‘Image’ menu located at the top of the screen and select “Transparent Selection”’. When enabled, it will notify you by having a check mark next to it in the menu. This will turn your drawing system fully opaque which means your drawing will be see through.

STEP 4: On the Toolbar from the top of the screen, select the icon with a dotted star shape known as ‘Free-Form Select’ tool. This lets you to select an area freely without sharp edges. Now outline the part you want to remove from the photo, making that part of the picture transparent. A dotted rectangle or square will revolve around your chosen area. Click the left mouse button and select ‘Cut’. A white space will fill the area you selected. NOTE: Paint is not updated enough so it will not appear transparent on screen; therefore, the results will not be shown until you print the image or use it on another platform.

STEP 5: To make the other areas of the image transparent, use the same ‘Free-Form Select’ tool with select and cut process.

STEP 6: Save the file by opting ‘File’, then ‘Save as’. Rename the image, so it does not merge with the original one. Drop down the menu of ‘Save as Type’ and select ‘GIF’; This format allows the image to be transparent.

Any Other Options I Can Opt For?

Even the latest versions of MS Paint do not offer the ability to have transparent images directly in the application. But that does not mean you are completely unable to use MS Paint to perform this task. If you think you are working with transparent gif image it will still display with a white background which you can certainly not remove in the program.

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If you believe it’s just too much work using MS Paint then there is other software that provide the same function with simple tools that any immature graphic artist or student can make use of. For this purpose, you have to work with another software, most preferably an Open source. This is because you need a simple utility and do not need to pay to use a simple tool- Photoshop thwarted yet again!

Want To Save Yourself The Trouble?

There are multiple softwares available to make the job much easier for you rather than getting extensions for other applications. GimpShop is an option for low budget graphic designers who want to be able to use full features of Photoshop but without having to pay for any of those. We all know how professional the name Photoshop sounds but then not everyone wants to go all technical. Maybe you are a student who just wants to get done with a school project. In that case you would not want to spend so much for a little task. That is where GimpShop comes into play. There are some features that are somewhat different in comparison to Photoshop.

First off, GimpShop is Open Source, which means that you can download it, edit it, give it away or use for whatever purpose you want- all for free. GimpShop is also cross platform which makes it all the more easy. Some of the advanced features are still missing, but then what more can you expect from free software? If you are still confused about what is GimpShop go check out this user’s article which will give a better insight. Similar software that offers a wide range of tools would be Paint.NET.

What are some other utilities offered in MS Paint?

Well, you don’t carry your fancy Mac or Tablet with all your professional software downloaded. In fact, you might get caught in one of those situations where you are stuck with no other option other than using a PC. Let’s learn more about what you can do with just that PC:

Gridlines Are Your Friend.

You can use gridlines to adjust your image just like any other fancy software when you need to align elements on a presentation, and you won’t notice the difference between the expensive software and MS Paint. The option is right under ‘View’. Mark the Gridlines option to use it.

Clone Things!

This clone tool does not work as your professional Photoshop but you can select the area of an image in free-style, paste and move the pasted area anywhere to the image.This can come in handy when you need to clean up some edges in a flash.

Stamp Things!

Paint lets you stamp any image however many times you want without taking forever. You can use any image from the clipboard.

Select the picture, turn on your transparency. Select your chosen area, hold shift, click on your image and drag it around. Tada!

Reformat Your Images.

Paint offers various formats that can come in handy for you. Those are JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and Bitmap. You can convert any format of your file by opening it in Paint and saving it again to another format. This tip was a lifesaver for me when I wanted to convert a GIF into a JPG to use in an article. Quick and easy!

Make A GIF!

Got any pictures of your pet? Or star-struck by your favorite comic hero? MS Paint can be used to make fun GIFs. They don’t take up much space on your computer and are easy to make. GIFs can also be used to create signatures or short animations to use on other platforms. To make GIFs, first you have to be familiar with the basics of MS Paint.

“Simplicity can have a negative impact when it’s the crude reduction of nuances beyond appreciation: a Matisse presented as a 16-color GIF”. – Matt Mullenweg

Here’s a complete guide to get your hands on this feature: Make gif with MS Paint.


Congratulations, you’re now the owner of a low-end image manipulator that you can actually use to do pretty intricate things! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. Check out my other articles to learn how to tackle any Windows error code, fix an error code in the Google Play Store, or even learn about HTTP error codes! There’s something for everyone on Error Codes Pro.

MS Paint provides basic features with a user friendly interface so anyone‘s day can be saved in a pinch! And with more advanced and updated features in Windows 7, you can make it work for you when necessary. But what if your Windows keep crashing?How are you going to make sweet, sweet transparent photos then? This is a common issue that may occur while having Windows 7 or 10 and we’ve got an answer for you!

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Happy painting!

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