How to Make an Image Transparent

Adjust the transparency of an image in Photoshop, Canva, or Paint 3D

A human hand holding up a transparent glass gem
Making part of an image transparent can really make your design work something special.

 Mirage C / Moment

Changing the transparency or opacity of an image can add an entirely new vibe to a design or photography project. Adjusting the transparency of text can create a softer feeling, while lowering the opacity of another layer can create an air of mystery and draw the viewer in for a closer look.

Many popular image editing programs are capable of adjusting the transparency of an image. Here's how to get an image's opacity levels just right in Adobe Photoshop, Paint 3D, and Canva.

How to Make an Image Transparent in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular image editing programs for professional designers and photographers. It boats a wide range of features, including transparency editing and image layers.

Photo of carrot cake being edited in the Adobe Photoshop program
Adobe Photoshop has advanced image editing tools for professionals and casual users.
  1. Open your PSD document in Photoshop.
  2. Make sure the Layers box is visible in Photoshop. If it isn't, select Window from the top menu, then Layers so a check mark appears beside the word.
  3. In the Layers box, you should see several different visual elements. The one at the top of the list is at the top of the image layers while the one at the bottom is underneath the others. Select the layer with the image or word whose transparency you wish to edit.
  4. Look for Opacity in the Layers box and tap on the small arrow next to it to open the opacity, or transparency, slider.
  5. Drag the slider left and right to change the transparency of the selected layer.

How to Make an Image Transparent in Paint 3D

Windows 10's free image editing software, Paint 3D, has very limited image editing capabilities, but it's possible to change the transparency of some aspects of a project using Stickers.

A photo of a sunset being edited in the Windows 10 Paint 3D program
Paint 3D is a free app on Windows 10 that has basic transparency options.
  1. Open your project or image file in Paint 3D as usual.
  2. Select Stickers from the top menu. The Stickers feature allows for the addition of clipart, textures, and other images which can be placed over the image already loaded in Paint 3D. Select your Sticker type from the menu on the right side of the screen.
  3. With your Sticker chosen, select anywhere on your Paint 3D project. This will place the Sticker over the top of your current image. You can move, resize, and rotate it with your mouse.
  4. While the Sticker is editable, a new menu will appear on the right side of the screen with an opacity slider. Drag this slider to change the transparency of the sticker.
  5. Once you have everything set up the way you want, select the checkmark to the right of your new Sticker.

How to Make an Image Transparent in Canva

Canva is a free online image editing software that runs completely within your web browser. It lacks many of the features that Photoshop has but it's very beginner-friendly and offers users a variety of high-quality templates which can be edited and customized. Canva also supports transparency effects.

Changing the oppacity of an image in the online Canva image editing software
Canva is a free online image editing tool that has some good transparency features.
  1. Open or create a project in Canva as usual.
  2. Select the element in your Canva project whose transparency you want to change. A thin box should appear around the element if you've correctly selected it. A new menu will also appear at the top of the screen.
  3. On the right side of this new menu, select the box that looks like a fading chess board. A slider will appear underneath it.
  4. Drag the slider horizontally to change the transparency of your selected element.