Several easy ways to remove photo background using Photoshop for Mac

There are many ways to remove background from an image using Photoshop. For example, you can use the Lasso Tool, the Pen tool, the Quick Selection Tool, the Magic Wand Tool to select part of un image or image background to delete. You can use the Eraser tool to delete any part or the whole background from the source image file. You should choose the right tool depending on the nature of the source picture. Sometimes it could be difficult to determine which one should be used to accomplish a certain effect or task. Images with similar background and foreground color, complex background will require a mix of tools, samplings, and tolerances along with occasional manual touch-ups.

In this quick guide, we will show you how to quickly delete background from your photos with ample visual contrast between the subject and background using Magic Wand Tool, Magic Eraser Tool and Background Eraser Tool,

Important Tips

  • Duplicate the image first and edit its copy instead of the original file. So you won’t lose the original picture if something goes wrong.
  • When you open an image in Photoshop, you will see the background layer which is locked by default under the Layers tab at the bottom right section. You need to double click on it to unlock the layer.

Using the Magic Wand Tool

Select the Magic Wand Tool from the tools panel, then click the part of the layer or image you want to select or remove, Photoshop will select all the pixels in that area that are the color of what you’ve clicked. You don’t have to manually select the background. When you’re ready, click Delete on your keyboard to remove the selection from the image or background.

photoshop cc for Mac Magic Wand Tool and settings

Advanced settings for Magic Wand Tool

  • Uncheck Contiguous if you want to select nonadjacent areas of similar color. Leave Contiguous checked if you want to select only adjacent areas of similar color.
  • Choose Tolerance value. High vale will select a wider range of color.
  • Add to the selection: press the Shift key on your keyboard, and click elsewhere in the image.
  • Subtract from the selection: press the Option key (MacOS) or the Alt key (Windows), and click inside the selection.

Using Magic Eraser Tool

Similar to the Magic Wand tool, the Magic Eraser Tool also makes automatic selections based on color. Select the Magic Eraser tool in the toolbar. Then click the part of a layer or image to make the selection and delete it at the same time. The Magic Eraser works exactly the same way as the Magic Wand tool and then hitting delete.

Advanced settings for Magic Eraser

  • Set a Tolerance value. High tolerance erases a large number of colors and low tolerance erases colors similar to the one you’ve chosen.
  • Select Anti-Aliased for smooth edges.
  • Select or deselect Contiguous, depending on whether you want to erase just connecting pixels or all similar pixels.
  • Choose Sample All Layers to view a sample of the erased color from visible layers.
  • Choose and set Opacity.

Using Eraser or Background Eraser Tool

The Eraser tool in Photoshop is essentially a brush. Instead of painting on the pixels, the Eraser deletes the unwanted pixels from your photos. You can change the size, hardness, opacity, flow, smoothing, etc. You can also change the mode from Brush to Pencil or Block.

photoshop cc for Mac Background Eraser Tool and settings

The Background Eraser tool is different from the Eraser tool. Once you selected the tool, the cursor will change to a circle with a + in the middle. The Background Eraser tool samples the color that’s directly under the + in the center of the circle. It will erase all of that color that falls within the larger circle. It won’t erase areas with different colors even if they are in the circle .

Advanced settings for Background Eraser

  • Adjust settings for size, hardness, angle, roundness, spacing, etc.
  • Choose a Limits mode: Discontiguous, Contiguous or Find Edges. Discontiguous erases sampled color wherever it appears beneath the brush; Contiguous erases sampled color in areas that are connected; Find Edges erases connected areas that contain the sample color and preserves the shape of edges.
  • Set Tolerance level. High tolerance will erase a wider range of colors than low tolerance.
  • Enable Protect Foreground Color option so the foreground won’t be deleted by mistake.
  • Choose a Sampling option: Continuous, Once or Background Swatch. The Continuous sampling will sample colors the entire time you are dragging the eraser tool; Once sampling will erase only the color you click on first; Background Swatch will erase any areas containing the background color.

Removing image background alternatives

You can find a variety of other tools that can also make the background of an image transparent. For example, you can use Snagit to quickly remove the background from your image. It may not work to delete the background from a photo with complex backgrounds. But when the images have a white background, solid color, or high-contrast backgrounds, you don’t have to use a professional editing program as sophisticated as Photoshop. Even the Preview can help us erase image background on Mac without using third-party apps or editors.

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