How to Make a BMP Transparent

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Bitmap (BMP) files do not have native transparency support, so in order to create a transparent background for one you’ll need to convert the file to a PNG, to retain the file's color information while removing the portion of the file that you wish to make transparent. While most modern photo editing software allows you to create a transparent section, the more advanced ones, such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP, make it possible with just a few clicks of the mouse button.

  • Open a photo editing software application on your PC, and then use the File menu to load the BMP into the system’s workspace.

  • Convert the BMP to a PNG file by using the Save As option in the File menu.

  • Create a duplicate layer for your image. This will be your editable layer, as some editing software won’t allow you to make changes to the original photo. Click the new layer to select it for editing.

  • Select the background area of the image using the space selection tool within your software package. For example, if using Adobe Photoshop CS5, select the Magic Wand tool and click the background space that you wish to remove from the photo. Any nearby space that is the same color as the pixel you clicked should now have an outline around it. Some selection tools allow you to alter the tool tolerance using a slider. Lower the tolerance to increase the color option of the space selection if your background varies slightly in hue.

  • Change to the selection tool in your software toolbox, and then click the background space to select it for alteration. Press the “Delete” key to delete the selected background space, leaving it transparent.

  • Select the original image layer and press the “Delete” button to delete it, leaving only the copy layer with the transparent background.

  • Save the image as a BMP using the Save As option in the File menu.

References

  • Photo Credit Paul Tearle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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