Color Replacement with transparency

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  • Idea
  • Updated 5 months ago
  • Under Consideration
You can currently replace one color in an image with another with the Color Replacement effect in Snagit Windows. There have been some requests to add the ability to replace a color with transparency. That would give people the ability to effectively add transparency around objects by removing the background color.
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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Posted 1 year ago

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Paul

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But I can do that already with the fill tool.  I do it all the time.  What am I missing?
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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There is a small difference: It would replace the color wherever it occurred in the image, not just radiating from where you clicked.
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Rick Stone

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What you are missing is that the color replacement doesn't allow selecting transparent. So it becomes a multiple step operation. You first do the color swap. Perhaps from say a shade of blue to perhaps hot pink. Then you have to use the fill tool to fill the hot pink with transparent.

It would also be nice if the color replacement "tolerance" were easier to bring into view. Presently it seems very fussy for me and requires several clicks with sticking my tongue against my cheek in juuuuuust the right way when I click to coax it to show!
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Paul

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Je ne comprends pas.

I have an image with a white outline.  I click Fill > Select Transparent > Click on white area.  Job done.  Granted, Inner fills can be more tricky.

But I totally agree re tolerance.  If you're trying to colour swap when the original colour is graded, it can take forever,
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Paul

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To Chris's point, then I guess there are two needs.  Most often when I am applying transparent, it's to remove the white around an image.  As long as that remains as easy as it is today.......
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CyrusMD

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Chris, I understand what you are saying, it will be nice if the replacement occurred wherever the color was present instead of only the places you click.
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Lynn Martineau

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Replacing a color with a +/- tolerance would be awesome.
When an image has a shaded/graded boarder it can take a very long time of tedious clicking (and undoing) to get rid of the white, off-white, almost white, nearly white, looks white, can't tell it's not white.
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JL1

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Indeed. Isn't that true of all graphic apps, BTW? I wonder if any such apps can do that.
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Rick Stone

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Lynn, there is a tolerance you can configure. See the image below:



Cheers... Rick :)
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Joe Morgan

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There's no such thing as a Miracle selection tool when gradients are involved. I don't care what setting you use for a tolerance level.

That's what the pen tool in Photoshop is for.

You can try to erase away clean lines. Jump through other hoops, use various methods to get there.
But gradients create problems that selection tools can't solve on their own. That's just the way it is.

Regards,Joe 
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Kyle Ortman

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Request: Color Replacement to add Transparent Option.

When doing a color replacement there is no option to swap a color for transparent.

Any chance we could get this added?
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Joe Morgan

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Replacing Color with transparency is already available. Understanding how to use the Magic wand is all that's required.

The Canvas must be set to transparent for this to work.

You start by selecting the color in the image. Like any selection tool.

The key to the magic wand?
You don't want to select "Global  Color Selection"in most cases.

If you're selecting a white background. As in my example below. Any white contained in the image you are preserving will be selected simultaneously.

Unselecting the "Global Color Selection" limits the area of selection to contrasting colors. Hard edges if you will "Color changes" and will stop a selection from going any further based on the "Tolerance Settings"

Once you grasp this basic functionality, the Magic Wand is very simple to use.A little practice and time makes for more efficient use of it.  

Once you make a selection, you may need to adjust the tolerance. I've found it needs to be way down around 3 or 4 to work well in most cases.


Once your satisfied with the selected area, hit delete. That's it.



Or, If replacing the Color is your goal.
with the area still selected..............................Switch to the Paint Bucket Fill Tool instead.

Just fill the area with your color of choice. Boom, Done.



Or sit around waiting for a feature that may never ever come. I'm not saying a tolerance slider for color replacement is a bad idea.

I'm just pointing out that you already have all the tools you need to do what you desire.  

Regards,Joe
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Rick Stone

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Note that it totally depends on your image as to whether you are even able to select a transparent background.

For example, I frequently save images from the web. They often save as JPG format. And JPG format knows nothing about transparency. So if I'm editing such an image, it's impossible to select a transparent background.

To overcome this, I will open the image in SnagIt, then save the image to the PNG format that offers transparency. And often, I'll have to totally close it out and open it fresh before I'm allowed to configure a transparent background. ;)

Cheers... Rick :)
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Joe Morgan

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Your wrong on this one Rick.

Your editing an image, you can do anything you want.
Try it and you'll see.

Make sure the Canvas is transparent.

Regards,Joe
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Rick Stone

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Hmmm, looks like perhaps something changed in recent versions of SnagIt?

I've had many cases in my years of working with it where I was forced to jump through hoops to finally coax a transparent background. But I see where the editor now seems to not care that a JPG is open. Interesting!

Note that because JPG doesn't know anything about transparency, when you save the image and open it back up, what was appearing to be transparent before is now solid white.

Interesting... Rick :)
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Joe Morgan

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I think SnagIt has recognized jpeg's with a white canvas for a very long time.
I opened a jpeg as a test in version 11 a moment ago and it was white.

A png I opened had a transparent canvas.

I think the hoop faced was you failed to change the canvas to transparent.That's all.
I deleted portions of jpg images regularly with older versions of SnagIt so I know the drill well. It's been a while and I use Photoshop more than SnagIt these days. So I  opened 11 to be sure.

Jpeg's can't save with transparency,why wouldn't  it revert to white again? Had you saved that image as a .snag before saving it would have been different story.
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Rick Stone

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LOL, no I never ever save my images as snags. Each image I deal with is a one off. And I deal with hundreds a day. I grab or open the image, manipulate, save, done. No need to ever return to it for further editing. That's why I use Pinterest. I upload them there. Last count was 11,428.
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Joe Morgan

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I don't either, but it's still all about canvas color.If we had a layers panel, I think people would be more in touch with Layer "0" {the Canvas} and it's impact on all images in SnagIt.

Photoshop doesn't put a white canvas under jpegs by default. I don't know why SnagIt does.
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jentimus

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Yay for Joe Morgan!  I clicked the white and then reduced the Select to 1 and it perfectly grabbed all the white around the image.  Then I pressed Delete, and I had a transparent background for the whole canvas.
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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Official Response
There was some good conversation on this Idea for sure. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this already. But Fill tool doesn’t allow you to replace all colors because you have to choose a specific location. And Wand does work with global color selection turned on, but it’s not where we see people trying to find this functionality.

We are looking at this now. Given the high number of votes and a couple ideas the devs had, this might be something we could get into Snagit Windows relatively quickly. This is because we already have the Color Replacement effect. For Snagit Mac, it will likely take a little longer, but it’s certainly possible. We will test it out and iterate on Windows first if we move forward with a solution.

Thank you for making your voices heard. This was another one we didn’t expect to rise to the top.

Here are the definitions of what the statuses mean for Ideas.
Here is the overall vote count for the rest of the Ideas in this roundup, as well as what has been implemented since our previous round.
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Paul

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Count me in please
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elizabethmerce

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Count me in too please.
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cyberiad

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Me as well plus one to infinity.
Find it very frustrating trying to achieve transparency in topographical maps by changing ground color to transparent -- something which in prior versions used to be so easy that I would have to call this a software regression.

And kindly elaborate --given the level of interest-- on the "Wand with global color selection" method you allude to above ...

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Joe Morgan

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So cyberiad,

With the magic wand approach. The key is a low setting. A high quality topographical map helps as well.

I created a 2680 x 2000 300dpi map using https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/advanced-viewer/
for this demonstration.

I set the Magic Wand to Global Color Selection and the "Less/More tolerance slider to 4. Then, I selected a area of green.
The first thing that happens is you get a pop up saying. "Updating Selection" This pop up goes away rather quickly on my machine.Then, and nothing happens for almost 30 seconds. So you have to be patient, this is a slow tool.At least it is on my computer.And I've got a powerful desktop.
I put the same image in Photoshop CC as a test. The wand selected it instantaneously. So I think its SnagIt.
Anyway, you'll see this and wait a while.



Then, marching ants will appear on your image. Showing you what has been selected. Photoshop term.I dont know what TechSmith calls it.


   
Hit the delete key and the green is gone. However,theres 3 small areas  left. Selection tools cannot make perfect selections, that's just the way it is.
Same goes with SnagIt color replacement tool.It wouldn't work any better with transparency. Its color replacement  capabilities don't impress me to be quite honest.



You could make additional selections to remove the remainder.

I used a setting of 5 and some topographical lines became broken/partially erased. So 4 was the better tolerance setting.

You can also use the magic wand to make selections for  color swap. Then use the fill tool to replace the selected area.
It works better than the color replacement tool with difficult selections.
See this post.https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/how-do-i-go-about-changing-the-colors-in-an-image-th...

Regards,Joe


(Edited)