The Background Eraser Tool

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KEYBOARD SHORTCUT: E



The Background Eraser Tool in Photoshop Elements can help you to remove subjects and objects from their Backgrounds.

See the before and after below. The gray and white checkerboard pattern represents Transparent areas.

background eraser tool background eraser tool

Watch the video below to learn all about how to remove the Background from a photo using this Tool in Photoshop Elements.



Once you have changed the Background to transparent, you can put your subjects onto a new Background as shown below.


Things to Remember

  • It changes the area you use it on to Transparent.

  • It's nested with 2 other Tools. Click-and-hold on the Eraser Tool in the Toolbox to see the other 2 tools. Its icon has a scissors over it to indicate you can cut things out with it.

  • Once you click on your photo with it it changes the Background Layer to a Regular Layer.

  • Don't let the use of the word Background confuse you when used with Background Eraser and Background Layer. They are unrelated.

  • Only the color or tone that is directly under the Hotspot changes to transparent.

  • If you choose Contiguous from the Limits Field in the Options Bar the color has to be touching the color under the Hotspot to be affected.

  • If you choose Discontiguous from the Limits Field in the Options Bar any color within the Brush Circle that is the same as the color under the Hotspot will be affected.

  • The Tolerance Field in the Options Bar determines how similar or dissimilar a color is to the color under the Hotspot before it is affected.
    A Low Setting: Less colors are included.
    A High Setting: More colors will be included.

    Go from Background Eraser Tool to Home

    Go from Background Eraser Tool to Toolbox

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