@AnnBruckerTIS do you know if there is a way to remove background from images in Google Draw? Doesn't appear to be. #gafe #gafechat
The answer is, "NO, not yet . . . ! "According to the Google Docs Help Forum, "Removing the background of an image is currently not supported within the Google Docs Editors." But just because you can't do it in Google doesn't mean it can't be done.
Quick disclaimer: I'm using a Mac!
This is actually a really good question, and one of my favorite tricks. I'm surprised it doesn't get asked more often. My guess is that most people don't even think about it - they see a picture they like, and they grab it and use it, as is. I'm not addressing copyrighted images here. Let's talk about stuff you make.
Say you take a picture of your child standing at the bow of a pontoon boat, arms thrust out to the sides, as if he were flying into the wild blue yonder (which happens to be dotted with fluffy white clouds).
As you can see by the info "card" on the left, this is a JPEG image - as will be the case with most pictures you take with and upload from your camera (or phone, in this case).
Now imagine, if you will, that I want to basically "delete" the blue sky because I'm going to post the picture on my website, which has a bright yellow background, or I'm going to add it to a Google Slides presentation that has black and white stripes. I want the sky to appear to be the color of that other background . . . in other words, no sky at all. The minute I do this trick I'm about to show you, this JPEG file will be converted to a PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file, and include the transparency I'm looking for. PNG images are typically larger files because they contain different "layers" that allow that transparency to happen. They tend to result in higher quality so that you can size them up or down and not lose the resolution that you would with a JPEG ( . . . which does NOT support transparency). But enough nerd talk. Let me show you how to make it happen.
ON A MAC, open up your image in Preview (the default program that opens an image or PDF file). If you are using a newer version, you might see the icon of a little toolbox in the toolbar at the top of the window. If not, click on the View menu and "Show Toolbar." Once you see the toolbox, click on it - you're on the hunt for what looks like a magic wand. You might have to click around on some of the icons - mine just shows right in the toolbar. Click that wand, then hover over the part of your picture you want to remove. Click and drag just a little space within that soon-to-be-transparent part; you will see a "shadow" begin to fill that part of the image. Be careful not to drag too far; if you do, just let go and try again. As soon as you let go of your "click," anything that gets shadowed will start to "dance" with a dotted outline that will show you the border where you will be able to crop out content. Press the Delete key on your keyboard; you will most likely get a pop-up warning you that your JPEG image is about to be converted (yes, to a PNG). Click Convert, and **POOF** that area of the image will disappear. Repeat in any other areas you want to remove.
Now that the image is missing "parts," think of it as a die-cut. Instead of a rectangular-shaped image with a picture of a happy boater, you have a happy-boater shaped image that will float on top of any background, even black and white stripes.
Now if anyone knows how to do this on a PC, please advise. Feel free to add your guidance in the comments below!