I created a shape on a transparent background, but I actually want the shape to be transparent and the background to be a solid color.

Can this be done?

I don't want to just Select By Color, because that doesn't select the partially-transparent areas, giving the shape rough edges.

  • You basically just need to invert the alpha channel. Sorry, I have no Gimp at hand right now to guide you through this...
    – AAGD
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 19:56
  • @AAGD Do you have a guess for where that tool can be found?
    – Joe Morano
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


To invert transparency from background to foreground I usually take the following steps shown with the source example below:

enter image description here

  1. Make the alpha-channel a selection (Layer > Transparency > Alpha to Selection)

enter image description here

  1. Invert the selection Ctrl + I to select background
  2. Fill the background with desired color/pattern
  3. Invert the selection Ctrl + I to select foreground
  4. Remove the foreground (Del)

enter image description here

We can see that semi-transparency for anti-aliasing will be nicely preserved:

enter image description here

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