How To Change Image Background in GIMP

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

A picture is worth a thousand words. If you have a photo with an undesirable background, changing the background is the best way to enhance the image. However, conventional image editors like Photoshop or GIMP do not provide this feature. In this post, we will be using GIMP to change the image background. We will cover changing image backgrounds with single solid colors and multi-colored backgrounds. Without further ado, let’s get started on how to replace the background in GIMP.

How to Replace Solid Background Color in GIMP

To replace a simple, single-color background, follow these steps in GIMP:

1. Open GIMP and import the image you want to work with (File > Open).

2. From the Tools panel on the left, select either the Fuzzy select or Select by color tool.

3. Click once on the background color to select it.

4. Now you’ll notice that the background color is selected.

How To Change Image Background in GIMPHow To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 3: With the selected background, go to Edit > Clear or press the Delete key to delete it.

How To Change Image Background in GIMPHow To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 4: With a transparent background, you can add any content. For a solid color, use the Bucket Fill tool to select a color from the palette, then click to fill the background with the new color.

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How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 5: If you want to replace the image, follow this step, otherwise go to step 6.

Click on File in the top bar and choose Open As Layers. Select the image to keep as the background.

How To Change Image Background in GIMPHow To Change Image Background in GIMP

The new background will hide your original image because it is the top layer. Now, from the Layers panel, hold the mouse on the background image and drag it below the main image.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

That’s it. You will have your image with a new background.

Step 6: Lastly, save the image. Go to File > Export As.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

How to Replace Multicolored Background in GIMP

Usually, images don’t have a single-colored background. In these situations, we need to use the following methods.

Method 1: Use the Eraser Tool to Change Image Background

Step 1: Launch GIMP and open the image you want to change the background from File > Open.

Step 2: Next, use File > Open as Layers, open the image you want to keep as the background.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 3: The new image will cover the original image. From the Layer panel, drag the new background image below the original image. Learn how to use layers in GIMP.

How To Change Image Background in GIMPHow To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 4: In the Layer panel, right-click on the original image and select Add Alpha Channel. If the button is greyed out, it is already added.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 5: After adding the alpha channel, right-click on the layer and choose Alpha to Selection.

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Step 6: Click on the Eraser tool from the left toolbar and start removing the background to reveal the new one. Adjust the eraser size as needed.

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How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 7: After removing the background, save the file to your PC using File > Export As.

Method 2: Use the Quick Mask Tool to Replace Background

One method to remove background is using Quick Mask. Follow these steps:

1. Open the image you want to change under File > Open. Then open the new background under File > Open as Layers.

2. Place the new background below the original image in the Layers panel.

How To Change Image Background in GIMPHow To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 3: Right-click on each layer in the layer panel and select Add Alpha Channel.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 4: Select the original image layer and use the Foreground select tool to outline and extract the desired portion.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 5: If you feel the selection isn’t perfect, refine it using the Quick Mask tool. Start by clicking the Quick Mask tool at the bottom-left corner of the image. Your image will turn red.

Then, use the mouse and the CTRL or SHIFT key to adjust the selection.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 6: Once satisfied with your selection, draw on the image portion to select the foreground, then hit Enter.

How To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 7: Select and choose Invert from the menu. Hit the Delete key on your keyboard to replace the image background.

How To Change Image Background in GIMPHow To Change Image Background in GIMP

Step 8: To save the image, go to File > Export As.

Method 3: Change Background by Making it Transparent

In this method, extract the image portion for the desired background change and make it transparent. We explain the procedure for making the image background transparent in a separate post; be sure to read it. After making the background transparent and saving the image as a .png file, open the desired background image in GIMP using File > Open. Then, use File > Open As Layers to add the image with the transparent background. This will give your picture a new background.

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Play With GIMP

GIMP allows you to change image backgrounds and create see-through texts. It can also tile images, add shadow to text, and more. What’s your favorite GIMP feature? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you find GIMP complicated, try 5 online tools to remove background from your images. Check them out in the next link.

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