How to Select and Use Background Eraser in Photoshop

Stuart Williams
By Stuart Williams 4 Min Read
how to select and use background eraser in photoshop

Image editing is a crucial skill in the digital age. Businesses and graphic designers use this ability to edit graphics, logos, and similar images. Studies reveal that the majority of adults even edit their selfies before posting them on social media!

Whatever your reasons for editing images, you likely use Photoshop for the task. Photoshop is one of the most prominent image editing software choices, in part because of all the tools it provides.

One of these tools is the “background eraser.” This tool helps you erase the background of an image, allowing you to put original touches on it.

People sometimes struggle with navigating this tool. If that’s you, don’t worry! We’ll explore how to use the background eraser in the guide below.

How the Photoshop Background Eraser Works

It turns out that the name “background eraser” is a little bit of a misnomer. Photoshop doesn’t have a notion of “background” in its system. So, this eraser doesn’t necessarily target your background.

Instead, the tool targets individual colors. The tool samples color as you drag the tool over them. Then, the tool erases those colors, leaving your other colors unaltered.

For example, let’s say you have the sky in your picture and a city skyline below it. You could erase the blue of the sky and leave your skyline intact.

Selecting and Adjusting the Background Eraser Tool

First, go to the Eraser tool and right-click it. Then, choose the Background Eraser Tool from the expanded menu.

After doing this, your mouse cursor will become a circle with a crosshair sign in the center. This circle functions as a brush.

Once you see this circle, you can adjust its size. You can either make it larger by pressing the left bracket key or smaller with the right bracket key.

You can also sharpen or harden the edges by pressing the shift key with bracket keys. In general, it’s better to use Shift+] to harden edges. This way, you can ensure you eliminate your background remnants.

How to Erase Image Background

Remember these two tips once you’ve selected the tool and adjusted it. This tool samples the color you’re erasing and uses that to isolate the color. From there, the brush tool erases that color.

So, how does the tool determine what color to erase? It does this by using the crosshair in the center of the brush. Whatever color is under the crosshair is what the tool deletes.

Second, it often helps to erase in your background layer. Strictly speaking, Photoshop doesn’t allow this. However, when using the background eraser tool, Photoshop converts the background to a new layer called Layer 0.

Start Experimenting with the Background Eraser Online

The background eraser tool can be one of the most helpful in Photoshop. Although this guide is far from exhaustive, you can use this information to get started on the tool.

So, start experimenting with it online today! Soon, you’ll get used to the tool and master its usage.

We hope you enjoyed this article! If so, check out our other digital tech tips today. We have several other pieces to help you navigate the newest technology.

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Hey, I'm Stuart, a tech enthusiast and writing expert. With a passion for technology, I specialize in crafting in-depth articles, reviews, and affiliate content. In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, I've witnessed how the age of the internet has transformed technology journalism. Even in the era of social media and video marketing, reading articles remains crucial for gaining valuable insights and staying informed. Join me as we explore the exciting realm of tech together!
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