The Magic Eraser Tool

magic eraser tool

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KEYBOARD SHORTCUT: E



The Magic Eraser Tool in Photoshop Elements works great for photos that have a background color that is distinct from the subject. The photo I used for this lesson is ideal because there is a white background and the subject has dark hair and dark clothes.

See the before and after below. I was even able to keep some of the fine hair detail which is impressive for such a quick technique.

magic eraser tool magic eraser tool

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


Things to Remember

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

  • It's nested with 2 other Eraser Tools. Click-and-hold on the Eraser Tool in the Toolbox to see the other 2 Tools. Its icon has a sparkle over it to indicate that it works like magic (a slight exaggeration in my opinion).

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

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

  • If you choose Contiguous from the Options Bar the color has to be touching the color that you click on to be affected.

  • If you don't choose Contiguous from the Options Bar the color that you click on will be affected throughout the entire photo.

  • You might have a halo from the old background around the edges. You can use Defringe to help remove it.

  • Try the Smudge Tool to blend and smooth out the edges.

Go from Magic Eraser Tool to Home

Go from Magic Eraser Tool to Toolbox

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