How to create a transparent background for an image in Inkscape (example)

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Philippe Gloaguen

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If you are passionate about graphic design or if you have had to make an audiovisual presentation, surely you will need to know how to create a transparent background to an image in Inkscape to adapt that image which is perfect to accompany your work, but with a background you don't like.

Today we bring the solution to this problem, because those details can make a big difference. With this short but effective tutorial you will be able to adapt any image for your presentations with minimal effort and in no time.

    What is Inkscape for?

    Inkscape is a program that allows you to edit vector images such as those downloaded from Freepik or Pixabay; as well as admitting that we create and modify logos, diagrams and illustrations. This makes it as useful a design tool as Illustrator, CorelDraw or Freehand and is compatible with XML, SVG and CSS standards.

    This tool was born in 2003 as a fork of Sodipodi. Since then, Inkscape has run on a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Unix, Mac OS X, and others; and is available for free and in multiple languages.

    In Inkscape we can work with strokes, text, patterns, gradients and shapes and also allows opening .AI files without Adobe Illustrator. This program is an easy to learn tool with a consistent and versatile interface.

    Steps to create a transparent background in Inkscape

    In this section we have the simple instructions you need to follow step by step to create a transparent background to any image in Inkscape and thus get a quality illustration that will look more professional in your presentations.

    • The first thing we need to do is open Inkscape and open the image in the program to which we want to place a transparent background. We can achieve this by simultaneously pressing the "Ctrl" and "O" keys, which will open a menu that will allow us to choose the file we want to open.
    • With the image open, we go to the 'File' menu (located in the upper left part of the window) and we choose the 'Document Properties' option . Another way to do this is to press the "Ctrl", "Shift" and "D" keys at the same time and the same window will open.
    • We click on 'Background Color' and it appears a small window with bars of cyan ('R'), magenta ('G') and yellow ('B'), and a last bar with the letter 'A' which has squares in different shades of gray. Each bar has, on the right, a space with the numerical value of the color.
    • Let's go to the space next to the "A" bar and put a number zero there. Another way to do this is drag the mouse on the bar until a zero appears in the box next to it. With this, the background of the image will be completely transparent.
    • Once the background is ready, we close the windows we use to see our image again.
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    If you don't want your background to be completely transparent (i.e. invisible), you can try adjust the values ​​of the different bars , Also bars of color 'R', 'G' and 'B' as the transparency bar 'A', until you get the result you imagined.

    This process can also be done in other graphic design applications. While it's also simple, it can be very different from how you apply a transparent background to an image with the Gimp or the brush tool in Corel Photo Paint.

    Since we have our image with a transparent background, we should just extract it from Inkscape in the format you prefer , to be able to use it wherever we want. This is a quick and easy process, which we describe below.

    Let's go to the "File" menu and select the "Export bitmap" option , this opens a new tab where we can choose the format in which we want to save our image. Another way to perform the same process is to press the "Ctrl", "Shift" and "E" buttons at the same time.

    We hope that with these simple instructions you will be encouraged to design your next presentation, or your next job, using some images that you thought would not be helpful to have an inappropriate background. And don't forget to share the information on your social networks!

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