Step-by-Step Guide: How to Remove a Checkered Background in Photoshop

Estimated read time 10 min read

How to remove checkered background in photoshop

Are you tired of seeing that annoying checkered background in your images? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this step by step guide, we will teach you how to easily remove the checkered background in Photoshop. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to create a clean and professional look for your images.

The checkered background, also known as the transparency grid, is a default feature in Photoshop. While it is useful for identifying transparent areas in your design, it can be distracting and take away from the overall aesthetic of your images. By removing the checkered background, you can focus on the main subject and create a seamless background that enhances your image.

To remove the checkered background, you’ll need to use the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop. This tool allows you to quickly select and delete specific areas of your image. We will guide you through each step of the process, from opening your image in Photoshop to saving your final edited image.

So, if you’re ready to take your image editing skills to the next level and create stunning visuals without the distraction of the checkered background, let’s get started with our step by step guide. Follow along and master the art of removing the checkered background in no time!

What is a checkered background?

What is a checkered background?

A checkered background refers to a pattern of alternating squares, usually black and white, that is used to represent transparency in many image editing software programs, including Photoshop. This checkered pattern is often visible in areas of an image where there is transparency, such as when an image has been masked or has a cutout background.

In Photoshop, the checkered background is used to indicate areas of an image that are transparent and do not contain any visible pixels. When an image is displayed with a checkered background, it means that these areas will show the background color or image that is behind the transparent image when it is placed over another image or design.

The checkered background is a useful visual aid when working with transparent images, as it helps to distinguish between areas that have pixels and areas that are transparent. By removing the checkered background, you can create a seamless image that can be easily placed on top of other designs or backgrounds without any visible transparency.

Why remove a checkered background?

A checkered background, commonly referred to as a transparent background, is often used when working with digital images or graphics. This type of background allows the content of the image to stand out and blend seamlessly with other elements, such as a website or a design project.

However, there are times when removing the checkered background becomes necessary. Here are a few reasons why you might want to remove the checkered background:

1. Enhance Visibility

1. Enhance Visibility

By removing the checkered background, you can improve the visibility of the image or graphic. A solid background can make the content appear sharper and more prominent, ensuring that it catches the viewer’s attention.

2. Integration with Different Backgrounds

2. Integration with Different Backgrounds

Removing the checkered background allows you to seamlessly integrate the image or graphic with different backgrounds. Whether it’s for a website, presentation, or marketing material, having a background that complements the overall design can make the content more visually appealing.

3. Consistency in Design

For design projects that require a consistent look and feel, removing the checkered background is essential. By using a consistent background color or pattern, you can ensure that all images and graphics align with the overall design concept.

Benefits of Removing Checkered Background
Enhances visibility of the image or graphic
Allows for seamless integration with different backgrounds
Ensures consistency in design projects

Step 1: Open the image

To remove a checkered background in Photoshop, you will first need to open the image in the software. Launch Photoshop on your computer and go to “File” > “Open” to open the image you want to work with.

Once you have located and selected the image file, click on “Open” to import it into the Photoshop workspace.

Pro tip: It is recommended to use high-resolution images for better results when removing the checkered background.

Import your image into Photoshop

To begin removing the checkered background in Photoshop, you first need to import your image into the software. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Launch Photoshop: Open the Photoshop application on your computer. If you don’t have Photoshop installed, you can download a free trial version from the Adobe website.
  2. Create a new project: Select “File” from the top menu, then choose “New” to create a new project. Adjust the document settings according to your preferences, such as the dimensions, resolution, and color mode. Click “OK” to create the blank canvas.
  3. Import your image: Select “File” again from the top menu, then choose “Open” to import the image you want to remove the checkered background from. Navigate to the location where your image is stored and select it. Click “Open” to import the image into Photoshop.

Note: Make sure your image has a transparent background or that the checkered background is easy to distinguish from the subject you want to keep. This will make the background removal process easier and more accurate.

Once you have successfully imported your image into Photoshop, you can proceed to the next steps to remove the checkered background.

Step 2: Select the background

Step 2: Select the background

Once you have opened your image in Photoshop, you need to select the background that you want to remove. This step is crucial for a clean and accurate removal.

There are several tools in Photoshop that you can use to make the selection, depending on the complexity of the background.

  • The Quick Selection tool: This tool allows you to easily select the background by simply dragging the brush over the areas you want to include in the selection. Photoshop will automatically detect the edges and create a selection for you.
  • The Magic Wand tool: This tool is useful for selecting backgrounds with a consistent color or texture. Simply click on a part of the background and Photoshop will select similar areas based on the tolerance level you set.
  • The Pen tool: If the background has intricate details or complex shapes, the Pen tool can be used to create precise paths around the background. Once the path is complete, you can convert it into a selection.

Remember to zoom in and work carefully around the edges to ensure an accurate selection. If your selection isn’t ideal, you can always refine it using tools like the Refine Edge or the Select and Mask option.

Use the magic wand tool to select the checkered background

One of the quickest and easiest ways to remove a checkered background in Adobe Photoshop is by using the Magic Wand tool. This tool allows you to select areas of similar color or tone with a single click, making it perfect for selecting the checkered background.

To begin, open your image in Photoshop and select the Magic Wand tool from the tool palette. You can also press the “W” key on your keyboard to quickly access this tool.

Next, make sure that the “Tolerance” setting in the options bar at the top of the screen is set to a value that will accurately select the checkered background. A higher value will select a wider range of colors, while a lower value will select more specific colors. You may need to experiment with different tolerance settings to achieve the desired results.

Once you have set the tolerance, simply click on a part of the checkered background with the Magic Wand tool. Photoshop will then automatically select all similar colors within the designated tolerance range. You may notice that not all of the checkered background is selected at once, especially if it contains variations in color or tone. In this case, hold down the Shift key and continue clicking on different areas of the background until everything is selected.

After you have successfully selected the checkered background, you can choose to either delete it or remove it by making it transparent. To delete the background, simply press the “Delete” key on your keyboard. If you want to make the background transparent, create a new layer by clicking on the “New Layer” button at the bottom of the Layers palette. Then, press the “Delete” key to erase the checkered background from the new layer, revealing the transparency beneath.

The Magic Wand tool is a powerful tool for selecting and removing backgrounds in Photoshop, but it may not always be perfect, especially if your checkered background has complex colors or textures. If you find that the tool is not accurately selecting the desired areas, you can try adjusting the tolerance setting or using other selection tools, such as the Quick Selection tool or the Pen tool, to achieve better results.

Remember to save your work regularly during the editing process to avoid losing any changes. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to effectively remove the checkered background from your image using the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop.

Step 3: Refine the selection

Step 3: Refine the selection

Once you have made a rough selection of the checkered background, it’s time to refine it for a more accurate cutout. This step is crucial to ensure that the final result looks seamless and professional.

1. Zoom in and out

1. Zoom in and out

Start by zooming in on the image to get a closer view of the edges and details. This will help you make precise adjustments and avoid any accidental deletion of important elements. Take your time to examine the areas where the checkered pattern meets the main subject, as these can be tricky to remove without causing visible flaws.

2. Use the Refine Edge tool

Next, select the “Refine Edge” tool from the toolbar or by pressing Shift+Ctrl+R. This powerful tool allows you to refine the selection’s edges by smoothing them, adjusting the contrast, feathering the edges, and more.

Experiment with different settings and see how they affect the selection. For example, increasing the contrast can help separate the checkered background from the main subject, while feathering the edges can create a softer transition.

3. Make adjustments with the brush tools

After using the Refine Edge tool, you may need to manually refine certain areas of the selection. To do this, select the brush tool and set it to either add to or subtract from the selection based on your needs. Carefully brush over the edges of the checkered background, ensuring that you don’t overlap into the main subject.

For more control, you can also adjust the brush size and hardness. A smaller brush can help with intricate details, while a larger brush is useful for larger areas.

4. Preview the result

4. Preview the result

Throughout the process, it’s important to preview the result to see how the refined selection is blending with the main subject. To do this, check the “Preview” box in the Refine Edge dialog box and zoom out to get a better overall view. Make any necessary adjustments until you are satisfied with the final result.

Remember to save your work regularly to avoid losing progress and have the option to backtrack if needed.


How can I remove a checkered background in Photoshop?

To remove a checkered background in Photoshop, you can use the Magic Wand tool or the Background Eraser tool. First, select the Magic Wand tool from the toolbar and click on the checkered background to make a selection. Then, go to the “Select” menu and choose “Inverse” to select the subject instead. After that, go to the “Edit” menu, choose “Fill”, and select “Content-Aware” from the drop-down menu. Click OK to fill the selected area with the surrounding pixels. If the checkered background is not completely removed, you can use the Background Eraser tool to erase it manually.


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