How to make a Photo Object using Pages.

A photo object is a photo of an object without any background that you can can insert into a webpage or word processing document. Online clipart services such as and istockphoto have photo objects you can purchase, but here’s how to make a photo object yourself from any photograph using Pages, the standard OSX word processor.

Here is a photo of a camera, before and after we turn it into a photo-object.


Step one is to open the image in pages. It helps if the background colour is different to the photo. For example if you have a black object on a black background it will be hard to differentiate the two.

Open the image in a new pages document

Next select “Instant Alpha” from the “Format” menu.

2. Select Instant Alpha from the format menu

The cursor will now turning to a cross-hair. Click anywhere on the background of the photograph behind the main object, an drag the cursor. This will cause the instant alpha tool to select all parts of the background that have a similar colour. You may need to do this multiple times if the background has various colours. Keep doing this until all the background has been selected. In the picture below you can see me highlighting a small section of the background in the middle of the photo – It is highlighted in pink.

Here I am selecting a part of the background using the instant alpha tool.

Once you have finished selecting all the background, click anywhere else in the pages document to finish the Instant Alpha process. You can now move the object wherever you want it in your pages document, or if you would prefer to use it elsewhere, for example in a webpage, simply take a screenshot using Shift-Apple-4 as described here, and this will save the image to your desktop.


One response to “How to make a Photo Object using Pages.”

  1. Scott McDonald

    Thanks for the quick tutorial. I didn’t know Pages had that feature. You can do the same thing in Preview and you don’t have to take a screen shot. You can just Export to whatever format you need.

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