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If you want to remove part of an image such as the background for example, the Instant Alpha tool lets you make parts of an image transparent in order to achieve this effect. Let's work with the photo in this version of our Running Club Data spreadsheet to remove the sky that appears in the background. First, we need to select the image. Click once to do that, then click Format and choose Instant Alpha. Now we can click the color we want to make transparent and then drag slowly over it. We'll start in the top left corner of our image. Click then drag down and across and you will notice parts of the image are highlighted.
If we drag too far, you will notice parts of our runners are actually selected and will be made transparent, so we can control the amount of the image that is made transparent by increasing or decreasing the selected area. When you release, that portion of the image will be made transparent. Now you get the best results removing solid colors with clear boundaries around them. To remove areas that are less distinct, we select a smaller area and repeat the process as many times as necessary. So let's go in between our first two runners, we'll click and drag from there and you will notice a lot of the background is now selected. None of our runners have parts of them selected, so when we release, we have removed the background.
One little trick, if you hold down the Option key while you drag, all instances of the color that you are dragging over will be removed, not just contiguous areas. Now if you need to start over with the image still selected, click Format and you can remove the Instant Alpha. So if you do make a mistake, this is a great way to start over. Select our areas, repeat the process as necessary and when you are done click the canvas anywhere to see the end result. Now that looks pretty good.
With Instant Alpha, you can edit your images to create transparency without ever leaving the Numbers '09 application.
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