PI6 QuickTip #11: Working on a Transparent Background

One of the most frequent requests on the PI6 Wish List was being able to start a new image with a transparent background. If you asked for it, your wishes have come true.

Choose File, New. When the New dialog box opens, select "Transparent background."

New dialog box

Click OK and the new, transparent image will open.

transparent background image

You'll know it's a transparent background because of the gray and white checkerboard pattern.

There's a few things you should know about working on a transparent background. Primarily, keep in mind that if you want to use a Paint, Clone or Retouch tool, you must do so in Paint as Object Mode. That means you have to select the Mode button in the Attributes toolbar.

Paint in Object Mode button

Once you're in Paint as Object Mode, you can paint away. For example, these pine branches were painted with the Bristle Paint tool. When you're done, click the Mode button again to toggle out of Object Mode.

pine branches

Because the background is transparent, these branches could be put on any color background and still not have any jaggedy edges. 

Of course you can make path and text objects on a transparent background too, without having to worry about the base image color showing through. Finally, you can make objects with truly transparent backgrounds!

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