I have created this image in Photoshop:

enter image description here


enter image description here

I would like to save this arrow to a .jpg file without the white background rectangle. How can I achieve that? I was trying to hide the background layer before saving, but this doesn't help.

  • 8
    JPEG is a lossy format. Saving anything as a .jpg will deteriorate the quality. This is not a big problem for photos, but for graphics like this it will be very noticeable. Use PNG or some other lossless format for graphics.
    – Suppen
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 17:25
  • 6
    Beyond the fact that you need to use PNG rather than JPEG to have transparency, I would strongly recommend you use AI rather than Photoshop and save the file as SVG. This way, you'll get transparency and you'll get a vector file, which can be scaled at will without resolution loss. This is especially useful if you intend to use the graphic on a website or an app which could be viewed on Retina / HiDPI displays.
    – jcaron
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 19:11
  • To add to the other replies, I want to note that this image really shoukd be png (not jpeg) anyway. The sharp edges and lack of continuous toning will be bad for jpeg and compress very well as png.
    – JDługosz
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 20:51
  • what is that; an ink blot? Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 2:13
  • A JPEG image does not have a background - the picture is stored as a monolithic image. It is more of a compression format and, as @Suppen commented, is lossy, which means some data may be lost without seriously degrading the image's recognition (by a human).
    – Suncat2000
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:48

5 Answers 5


You can't save transparency to a .jpg. The file format simply doesn't support it. Anything that is transparent will become white when saved to a .jpeg.

Try .png or .gif, those file formats do accept transparency.

  • 17
    Keep in mind there are two types of PNG, PNG-8 and PNG-24. PNG-8 basically has transparency as a "color", so a pixel is either transparent or not. PNG-24 has a 256-level alpha, so you can have semi-transparent pixels; for anti-aliased graphics (which it looks like OP's is), PNG-24 is the better bet. GIF operates like PNG-8, so the same applies.
    – Doktor J
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 16:56
  • 7
    @DoktorJ not true: an indexed PNG can have alpha values on any or all of the palette entires. It’s in a separate table so you might have overlooked it: that saves space as you don’t need 4 bytes for every palete entry.
    – JDługosz
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 20:48
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Vincent
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 11:50

jPeg images save automatically with a flat solid background. You will be able to achieve saving your image with a transparent background to .png format.

It won't work with JPEG format.

Some reference to assist transparent background


As mentioned, you can't make a JPG transparent. However, your reason for wanting it to be transparent is important for determining what format to use. For vector graphics, for example, EPS allows a clipping mask to mask out the background, and that format can used to place a graphic on a background in a layout program like InDesign, for example. That is why EPS is a preferred format for vector graphics to be used in print layouts. For other uses, the format, and the way the final image is composed, are both important.


Hide the background layer first. Then try "Ctrl+ Shift + Alt + S" to save for web and choose png. Or just save as and choose png as your filetype.


Opt for PNG32 which allows for full alpha transparency. That's what I use.

  • Hi wh1974, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 11:44

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