How to remove a background in Photoshop

If you’re new Photoshop, knowing where to start when it comes to removing a background can be daunting. Photoshop has many different ways you can achieve this, some faster than others, some a little more time-consuming and complex. There's no right or wrong way, it’s about picking the right approach for the job in hand.

In this Photoshop tutorial, we'll cover some techniques you can use to remove a background, each using different tools. We'll start with two of the most basic approaches: the Magic Wand tool (this page) and Quick Selection tool (jump to page 2). Then we'll move on to the more complex method of using channels alongside the Refine Edge tool (page 3). Finally, we'll look at using removing backgrounds using the Pen tool, paths and masks (page 4). Let's get started...

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Jo is group art director on the events team at Future and has worked on a number of magazines and brands, including Computer Arts, What Hi-Fi? and T3. She recently led the redesign of Creative Bloq's sister site, TechRadar.