The question pretty much stated it all, I want the red parts for transparency and all the white removed from this fingerprint image.

  • Double click your background layer in the layer pallet (to make it into a standard layer)
  • Choose Selection -> Color Range
  • Click in the white area of the image
  • Bring the fuzziness up around 90 enter image description here
  • Click OK
  • Hit DELETE and there you go!
  • That worked perfectly. Thanks! Nov 27 '20 at 16:10
  • Ctrl/Command+Click the green channel thumbnail in the Channels Panel
  • Hold down the Option/Alt key and...
  • Click the New Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers Panel
  • Save....
  • 1
    This makes my red fingerprint lose color and become whiter (become transparent)
    – Shayan
    Nov 25 '19 at 12:04
  • Then you aren't following the steps properly, Shayan.
    – Scott
    Jan 30 '20 at 12:00
  • Had the same problem with a different image using this technique. Nov 27 '20 at 16:10

3 ways to do this:

Use Magic Erase Tool in Photoshop and adjust the Tolerance (Erase Range).


Magic Wand Tool


  1. Go to Select option form the menu
  2. Click "Load Selection"
  3. Again go to Select option from the menu click "Color Range"
  4. Select your image's white area with the help of color picker
  5. Delete the selected area.

..and now its even easier! In Gimp 2.8 simply click Color -> Color to Alpha.

  • Why the down-vote? This gives the same solution in the end, in shorter steps.
    – klewis
    Jun 14 '18 at 18:02
  • 1
    I guess it's because the OP is tagged as "Photoshop"
    – MaDDoX
    Sep 19 '18 at 2:48

My 2 cents.

  1. Take your image (A) and choose a layer that is the most contrasted one. In this case green wil do (B).

  2. In case you need it, slide the levels so you have a pure black and pure white on the center part of the colors. Do not over do this or you will losse detail on the aliasing your image already has (C).

  3. Copy this.

  4. Make a new layer of the color you need and make a new layer mask, and paste your image there. You probably need to invert it (D).

  5. Ready. The image has the exactly same detail of the previous one and it has a pure colour, no halos or saw edges. (E).

Actually it is almost the same Scott, posted, but with some more detail.


To completely remove all white from the image without losing any gradation from other colors (as will happen with the other methods presented here), do as follows:

  1. Duplicate the image.
  2. Set its color mode to multichannel.
  3. Remove all channels but the channel with the most contrast - usually G, but in the OP's image it would be R.
  4. In the original image, load selection, select the other image's channel.
  5. Hit Delete, done. (You might need to invert the selection first.)
  • If I set Image > Mode > Multichannel I will only have Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, what do you mean click channel G or R on step 3? Also, Multichanel flattens the image, so I can't do this on layers, how can I bring the selection from second image to this image
    – Shayan
    Nov 25 '19 at 12:51

Trace in Illustrator > Save as PNG

  • That's one way sure, but it's a leap to assume that Zack has Illustrator available
    – JohnB
    Jul 26 '14 at 12:16

Expanding on this answer:

If you have Adobe Illustrator handy:

Window > Image Trace > Advanced

Image Trace

The result in my image was very identical, only thing I noticed was that the result's borders grew by 1 pixel, not noticeable at all, you will only see it if you zoom maximum (12800%).

I know that OP asked for Adobe PS, but since SE is a knowledge website and not a forum, I'm gathering all possible ways of removing white BG from image.

  • We don't know if OP has Illustrator or wants to use it. Also I think you got it the other way around: GDSE it's not a forum but a Q&A site, so we should stick to answering what's being asked.
    – Luciano
    Nov 25 '19 at 13:15
  • I literally said "not a forum" I don't know what you're saying.
    – Shayan
    Feb 1 '20 at 15:50

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