Did You Know Photoshop Has a Background Eraser Tool?

There are hundreds of tutorials on how to select the background of an image and mask it out, but you probably didn’t know that Photoshop has a dedicated tool for erasing a photo’s background. Here is why you should add this tool to your collection of editing techniques.

Photoshop is a complex, powerful program made to perform a vast number of functions. There are so many tools that most of them go unused. The background eraser tool is an excellent example of this. Hidden in the drop-down menu beneath the eraser tool, this option gives its users the ability to detect and remove specific areas of an image automatically. Using appropriate settings based on options that consider color and texture, you can control what areas you want the software to erase and what to ignore without first making a selection. So why use this tool and not merely select and mask?

There are two main drawbacks to this eraser that might make select and mask a better option for you. The first problem is that its detection method is not perfect, but if you understand what settings to use to control the tool, then it can be much faster than the traditional methods. The second issue is that the tool itself is destructive, meaning the changes are permanent. You can find out how to resolve these issues, though, and use the tool effectively in the tutorial above from Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect. Here he gives a full explanation of the best techniques for mastering this eraser.

Depending on what your intentions are, this tool might be the perfect answer for removing portions of a photo. To see all about how to use this tool, take a look at the video above.

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Lee Christiansen's picture

Best explination on this subject that I've seen. Useful trick with the mask.

Ian Goss's picture

“ … probably didn’t know … ”? That’s a big assumption.

Lee Christiansen's picture

Who cares... Probably / Might / Maybe...?

I knew of the technique but didn't fully understand some of the parameters. And I'd never thought to convert my erasion selection to a mask.

I'm experienced with Photoshop, but I'm allways keen to hear of a new take on a method I know. It's amazing how many little extra tips you can pick up even when you know the overall technique.

yanpekar's picture

Useful info but would be great if he would slow down. Very difficult to follow when he speaks so fast. It would be so much easier if he would consider posting step by step written guidelines, instead of doing a video.

William Long's picture

Great advice, but please slow yourself down, even as an experienced PS user, I had to keep stopping and starting the video.