4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 12, 2012 5:22 PM by Peter Spier

    how do I get a transparent background behind a graphic?

    indesigna Level 1

      I haven't worked in Indesign in two years, and forgot a lot, but I'm getting up to speed for a new job.  While, I'm designing collateral, I need to get clip art and graphics placed in the document, but everything is coming in with the dreaded white box behind it, and I can't find a quick way to delete it or make the background transparent.  I don't work in Photoshop, and I don't have time to work this one out.  I used to send images to my service bureau or the printer to fix this, but now with budget cuts, I have to do this myself.  After all these years, isn't there an easy way to get the image to be transparent in InDesign? 

       

      Thanks so much. 

        • 1. Re: how do I get a transparent background behind a graphic?
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          This really hasn't changed in recent versions of InDesign. There is a very rudimentary way of dropping out backgrounds which only works if you have an image on a white or very light background called Detect Edges. Choose View > High Quality Display. Select the image, then choose Object > Clipping Path > Detect Edges.

           

          WhiteBackground.jpg

          Detect Edges.jpg

          You adjust the Treshold setting and Tolerance setting to try to select the best result. The best result isn't of professional quality. It might work for a quick comp.

           

          Basically, you need to learn to do it in Photoshop. You need to use Photoshop methods to select the background and delete it to create an image with transparency which you can place in InDesign. Or you need to use the older methods of creating a Clipping Path or an Alpha Channel. Then you can select those options in Object > Clipping Path.

           

          Photoshop.jpg

          • 2. Re: how do I get a transparent background behind a graphic?
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            First thing to check would be if you've accidentally set a Paper fill.

             

            Next would be to show the import options when placing. Depending on the type of file, you may have the option for transparent background. If the file actually has a white background you can try using ID's clipping path function, but you'll probably get better results editing the original art to remove the background.

            • 3. Re: how do I get a transparent background behind a graphic?
              indesigna Level 1

              yeah, I was afraid it would be difficult, or at least for a person who shuns photoshop.  So, if I want to do it in photoshop with exact, clear instructions would they be above?  Or is there another place you could show me???

              • 4. Re: how do I get a transparent background behind a graphic?
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                If the background is white, you can probably just use the magic want to select it in Photoshop. Double-click the Background layer in the Photoshop layers panel and rename it (a flattened image with a Background layer cannot be transparent), then select and delete the background. Save as .psd.