How to Remove a Background Using GIMP

When you start working with photo and image editing, one of the most popular maneuvers is to cut out a certain part of the image and separate it from the background. Let’s learn how to remove the background of an image using GIMP in this tutorial!

1. Scissors Select Tool

Step 1

We’ll start off by opening an image in GIMP and selecting the Scissors Select Tool.

gimp scissors select tool

Step 2

With this tool, simply click around the edge of an object to create separate points like you can see below. The “intelligent edge-fitting” will kick in and do a pretty good job finding the edge of your subject.

intelligent edge detection

Step 3

Sometimes, the Scissors Selection Tool misinterprets the edge and you might get something shown below. Just drag the problematic point to a different part of the edge and it should try again. You can also click between points to create another one.

scissors selection not working

Step 4

When you finally finish and close the selection, just press your Enter key to turn it into an actual selection.

scissors select hit enter

2. Removing the Background

Step 1

Now that our object is properly selected, we can begin removing the background. Go up to Select > Invert, which will alter your selection to select everything but your object – the background!

gimp invert selection

Step 2

Just hit your Delete key to remove the background. Cool, huh?

remove background gimp

Step 3

For my particular case here, I still need to repeat the steps to remove the background from the middle of my object.

remove background inside image

Step 4

Finally, I have completely removed the background from the image so only my targeted subject is shown.

yellow donut white background

That Was Easy!

By using GIMP’s Scissors Select Tool, we were able to easily remove a background from a photo. The end result looks pretty good, so now it’s time to move on with your project! Thanks for reading.