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Abracadabra! Turn pixels transparent with the Magic Eraser tool

Added on Sunday 22nd of June 2008 07:30 am EST
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3
Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

I’ve been using Photoshop for many years, but one of the tools I’ve never delved into is the Magic Eraser tool. Can you explain what it does and when I might want to use it?

The magic in the Magic Eraser tool is that it can sense similar pixel values. The Magic Eraser works very much the same way as the Magic Wand does. You select the Magic Eraser tool from the Tools palette, set the tolerance on the tool Options bar, and then click an area in your image. Except unlike the Magic Wand tool—which selects an area of similar pixel values based on the set tolerance—the Magic Eraser tool simply makes those pixels transparent.

Tip: If your image is on a locked Background layer, Photoshop converts the locked Background layer to a layer first, and then turns the pixels transparent. If your layer has transparency locked, Photoshop changes those pixels to the background color instead of transparent.

Use the Magic Eraser tool any time you want to delete—or more precisely, turn transparent—broad areas of simil...