I am using GIMP 2.6.11. I have an image I am trying to convert to having a transparent background. I have done this many times. I use the select by color tool, and add layer to alpha channel.

When I select color to alpha from the transparency option, it displays the preview of how it will look. This has the original background converted to the checkerboard background as expected. When I select okay to commit, nothing happens to the actual image on the canvas. What am I doing wrong, because there is not any messages popping up when committing. It just doesn't follow through with the change.

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    The current stable version is 2.8.22. But something like this is not known for older versions, either. Can you add a screenshot of the whole ui in this state? Dec 7, 2017 at 20:26
  • @MichaelSchumacher Unfortunately the company I work for limits what we can install to their approved software store. However, closing out Gimp and reopening it seemed to do the trick.
    – eaglei22
    Dec 7, 2017 at 20:30
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    Next time try Layer>Transparency>Add alpha channel before using C2A, especially if you loaded the image from a file type that doesn't support transparency (JPG). Another way to tell if you can have transparency: the layer name should be a normal font, otherwise (no alpha channel) the layer name is in boldface.
    – xenoid
    Dec 7, 2017 at 21:01
  • Did you want to write "and add layer to alpha channel" or rather "and add alpha channel to layer"? No offence, but some of my problems get fixed with a good night of sleep and then trying again in the morning. Dec 8, 2017 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


Completely closing Gimp and reopening seemed to resolve this issue.

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    So was this a one-off problem, or does it appear often? And does this solution fix it every time? Dec 8, 2017 at 11:01
  • Seems to happen intermittently, but closing and reopening does fix it.
    – eaglei22
    Jan 11, 2018 at 17:28
  • @MartinZaske Happened to me again today, struggling with it, I remembered the solution I posted, and closing and reopening worked. So to properly answer your question, no it's not a fluke, it happens off and on.
    – eaglei22
    Apr 2, 2018 at 13:06

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