I am not a graphic artist, I use Photoshop when I need pieces of graphics cut, sliced, composited, etc and while not an artist, I've been using it a few hours a month since Windows 3, so.. for a while.

There is one thing I that always annoyed me and I never found a solution. Every single time I need it, I open the image I need to work on and I convert the background into a layer.

Is there a way to kill the background layer forever? I understand there are use cases where it's useful but there are also scenarios, like mine, where for 30 years it hasn't been useful and only been a source of 'why the hell? ah yes, it's a background layer instead of a normal one'.

Can I set PS in a way that an image gets loaded as a layer, without a background? (which will then default to transparent)

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    It might depend on image type. jpgs & tifs seem to do that, pngs don't. – Tetsujin Feb 21 at 15:58

You can use ''Load Files into Stack'' command. go to File-scripts-load files into stack-- this is the way when you deal with multiple images. And you can stack images as 'layer' in layer panel following this.

But '' an image gets loaded as a layer, without a background'' it's not possible inside Photoshop.

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Simply create an action that calls the command from Layer > New > Layer From Background... Assign it an F-Key shortcut....

  • Open an image
  • hit your F-Key
  • BAM! no background layer.
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Impossible in vanilla Photoshop, but if you really hate it:

  • if you want this only for new files:

    1. create an Action1 that'll remove the background layer (Layer From Background... as Scott mentioned)
    2. optionally create an Action2 with a Condition if layer is background layer: and place Action1 to Then field
    3. use File > Scripts > Scripts Event Manager to assign Action1 (or Action2 if made) to New Document event: this way the action will run every time you create a new document — BG layer will be automatically obliterated;
  • if you want this on new and opened documents:

    1. write a script that'd check if a document has a BG layer (and if it's not in Indexed Mode) and if it has, remove it.
    2. use the same Scripts Event Manager to assign this script to New Document and Open Document events: this way this script will run every time you create or open a document — BG layer will be automatically terminated.
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