How to Make Transparent Layers in GIMP

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Using transparency when working with images allows your image to blend well with any type of background. This is especially helpful if you wish to place a logo onto a multicolored background. Many photo-editing programs allow you to create transparent images and backgrounds, and using GIMP is no exception. You can easily modify layer transparency in GIMP by experimenting with layer opacity.

Things You'll Need

  • GIMP photo editor
  • Create a new project in GIMP or open an existing project.

  • Select the layer you wish to make transparent from the layers panel in your sidebar. Verify that the layer is highlighted before you begin to make changes to its transparency. If the layer is not highlighted, no changes can be made or might possibly be made to the incorrect layer.

  • Toggle the "Opacity" slider in the layers panel to control the transparency settings. A 100 percent opacity means that the image will show 100 percent of its colors. Toggling the slider to a lower opacity setting such as 35 percent will make the image 35 percent transparent and will allow other colors from surrounding layers peek through. A 0 percent opacity setting means that the layer is completely transparent or invisible. Settle on an opacity setting that achieves the overall look you desire.

  • Save changes to your project.

  • Export your new image as a .png file in order to preserve transparency if you are using this image for the Web.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not save your image as a .jpg. This will not preserve transparency because this file type is not suitable for transparent Web images.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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