How To Cut Out An Image

Some people asked me how to cut out an object or picture in photoshop, so i decided to create an tutorial about it.
There are a lot of ways to do this and i will show you the most common ways to do this. I used a twitter picture to show you how, because sinds yesterday you can folow me on twitter:

Option 1: Magic Wand Tool cut 3
This option can only be used on the most simple pictures, with only very view different background colors or a simple gradient background.
Simple click “W” to open the Magic Wand Tool, then click on the background. You will see a selection, if you are happy with the area that is selected, simple press “Delete” on you keyboard.
cut 1 cut 2

When using the “Magic Wand Tool” cut 3, be sure you set the “Tolerance” higher or lower depending on how much colors you would like to select.
cut 4

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Option 2: Magnetic Lasso Tool cut 5 Pen Tool cut 14
This can be used on a lot more pictures but still it is better if you can see a good color difference between the object you would like to cut out and the background.
Press “L” to open the Magnetic Lasso Tool cut 5 and click around the object you would like to cut out.
cut 6 cut 7
The Magnetic Lasso Tool will help you create the line. Just play with it to see how the Magnetic Lasso Tool works.
After you have selected the object press “CTRL +SHIFT +  i” to reverse the selection.
cut 8 cut 9jpg

Now press “Delete” on you keyboard.
cut 10

This option is the same with the Pen Tool and the normal Lasso Tool, but the Magnetic Lasso Tool is helping you a little bit. You need some practise when you use the Pen Tool.

Option 3:
Quick Mask cut 13
To use Quick Mask Mode press “Q” or click the Quick Mask Icon . Then press “B” to open the Brush Tool.
Now color in the object you would like to cut out.
cut 12

Now click “Q” again or click the Edit In Standard Mode cut 11 icon.
You will now see a selection around the painted object. Press “Delete” on your keyboard to delete the background.

cut 15 cut 16

I know there are more ways to cut out an object or picture, but these are the most common ways to do this.
Maybe some of you are now thinking why is his background white when he delete the background.
This is because i used a white background layer below the picture i am editing.

cut 17

Thank you for reading.
I hope this was helpful for some of you.

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    Posted by saiko-raito on September 24, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    thanks alot… this is very helpful for a newbie like me….

    Posted by chris on September 24, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Thank you, i’m glad this is helpful to you 🙂

    Posted by Carol on September 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks – never thought about the quick mask option – good to have another method when things get difficult!!!

    Posted by Ame Davis on October 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Hey, I have a question. I can’t find a tutorial on this. I can cut out the background and everything but I am trying to actually make a cutout. I need to subtract a person from a photo for a collage. But I can not figure out how. I need a fix asap.

    Posted by cfra22 on November 12, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Ok, all you have to do is use the lasso tool and outline the image that you would like to extract. Next you go to the “Select” menu option at the top, then click “Inverse”, then hit the delete button. This should delete everything but the image you wanted. Hope it works out for you.

    Posted by Lauren on November 29, 2009 at 2:28 am

    When I try this I end up with a white background the size of the original picture. Do you know how to get rid of the background so I have just the cutout? Is this a layer thing? Thanks!

    Posted by chris on November 29, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    You probably have a white background layer below the picture you cutted out.
    Just delete the background layer.
    Good Luck.

    Posted by phackdhe on December 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    goood it’s nice to practice

    Posted by Kadia on October 11, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Great work webmaster, nice design.

    Posted by dave on December 1, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I have managed to cut an image out and save it.

    How do I now put this into a separate image file ie I want to bring it in. I have tried copy and paste but when I open the new image I can’t paste anything into it

    Posted by chris on December 2, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Just duplicate the layer of your cut to the image you want it on.
    So open the cutted image in photoshop and the image you would like to paste it on.

    Right click the layer of your cut and click duplicate layer. Then you can select where the duplicated layer needs to go, ofcourse select your image.

    Hope this helps, good luck.

    Posted by web designer kanpur india on January 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks man this is pretty helpful

    Posted by Alex on February 6, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Wow. I’ve never used any of those methods (though I have gotten compliments on how cleanly the image was cut regardless). Man, alive, do I feel stupid. I guess I’ll have to try these methods out sometime. Out of curiosity…just how dumb is it to cut out using paths? (Or whatever the photoshop equivalent is…I’m a GIMP’er myself)

    Posted by Tiffany on July 15, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I’ve managed to get the object I want outlined in the little dotted lines… but I want to do something else and I’m not sure exactly how I explain what I want. But I will try. I have cut out a picture of myself, and made the background a concert stage and such. I have another picture of a guitar, that I want to cut out and put in the picture of me. I’ve outlined it but I want to get rid of the background and just have thet guitar… how do I do this?

    Posted by Tiffany on July 15, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Wait. I posted that 2 seconds too soon. I realized all I have to do it select the inverse, and copy and paste it! 🙂

    Posted by green on August 5, 2010 at 2:34 am

    when you cut out someone and put him in a different background, how do you make it more realistic?

    Posted by Tidge on September 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Hi, thanks for the tips! I’m using Photoshop Elements 8 and I’m compiling a newspaper cuttings image file for the web. I’ve used the magic wand to cut out around the cutting and delete the background fine but the white background (the size of the original scan which is then revealed stays when I save the file. This means when I go to put a drop shadow on the ‘cutting’ it shadows the square white background not the ragged cutting. Do you see what I mean?

    What am I doing wrong do you think?

    Thanks for your time


    Posted by epifani on September 25, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    What I dont comprehend is how youre not even a lot a lot more popular than you might be now. Youre just so intelligent. You know so significantly about this topic, created me look at it from so quite a few diverse angles. Its like men and women arent interested unless it has some factor to accomplish with Lady Gaga! Your stuffs great. Continue to retain it up!

    Posted by LeRoy on April 28, 2011 at 4:48 am

    I have tried all of the above, but an’t get the “cut” separated from the white background. Used inverse, lasso, etc. I have eliminated the background, but of the original photo, but it leaves a white background when I copy it to a new photo. No luck getting rid of the white background.
    Thanks for your help.

    Posted by Brittany @Christine Foster Photography on June 2, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I like this post very interesting and informative, thanks a lot for sharing the ideas, thanks…. and keep up the good work!

    Posted by Earl H. on June 26, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I have tried to cut a person from a photo with plain beige curtains as a backgroung using the Magnetic Lasso. I took a few standard shots using a biege cutain as a background, but as you noted, you run into problems with lighter backgroud. However I erased the backgroung, but after tracing a person, it woudn’t the allow Cut command. If you have better solution, that would be awesome! In the meanwhile I’ll fiddle around.

    Posted by adidas f50 adizero prime on August 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm

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    Posted by iza on May 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    What site do you go to, to do this?

    thank you btw

    Posted by S.PDABADE on July 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Sir, excellent and easiest tutorial to remove the back ground from the image. Thanks a lot.

    Posted by Barbara Riley on August 14, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Its so laborious using any of these methods and most often when you just about get it right it disappears or nothing happens, a ridiculous program I have wasted too much time on now and in the past.
    Its easier to print the picture out cut it out and scan into the computer

    Posted by Diamond on October 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I dont get how you are all saying this works so well. I got the dotted lines, then cut, now my object is on that background of gray boxes, white background gone, fine. But then if i try to save it, the white background is back.

    Posted by chris on October 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Diamond,

    When you want to save your file for the web without a background, make sure to save it as a .PNG or .GIF file. I think you saved it as i .JPEG file, .JPEG files can not handle transparant backgrounds and make it white.

    Let me know if it works,


    Posted by Ifat Ara on November 10, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Very nice and helpful post..Thanks.

    Posted by Kathy on November 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    This has been working well for me but all of a sudden, I have a problem. When I finish “coloring in” the image, I hit the Q again and only the outside edge of the photo is “selected”. When I hit the delete key, the image remains but appears to be behind the transparency grid. I cannot separate them or invert them, the image looks foggy. I’m even having trouble with images I have already successfully cut out. Did I inadvertantly change setting somewhere? Hoping you can help!

    Posted by hunnybutt on December 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    plzz <3

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