Knock Out Those Backgrounds – Instant Alpha Hidden In Pages For iPad [iOS Tips]

Instant Alpha Pages iOS

We’re big fans of Apple’s Pages app on iOS here, as it allows us to create and edit good-looking documents easily and on the go. Pages’ stunning array of templates, combined with the ease of use associated with an app built by Apple itself for its flagship touchscreen device, make it a must-have app on anyone’s iPad.

Color us excited, then, when we heard about a hidden feature in Pages that lets us delete backgrounds from photos right from within the app itself. Instant Alpha is a super helpful feature when we need to get rid of a large solid color background without dropping the image into an editing program first.

Launch Pages from the home screen on your iPad, and then create a new document. Find a template (like the Modern Report above) with a good image in it and tap it to begin editing.

Once the document fills your iPad screen, tap on the image once. You’ll see the familiar Cut, Copy, Delete, Comment pop up menu, and the image’s bounding box will turn blue, adding resizing handles all around. To get to the Instant Alpha, tap on the paintbrush at the top, and then the Image tab at the top of that menu. Tap the Instant Alpha button to begin.

Instant Alpha After iOS Pages

The image will get bluish, and you’ll see a tooltip: “Drag across colors to make transparent.” Tap and drag your finger across the area you’d like to knock out from the image, watching as you go. Pages will update the image in real time, showing you which sections of the image you’re getting rid of. If you make a mistake, hit the Reset button. When finished, hit the Done button and the changes will be applied.

It’s not a finely-tuned knockout tool like in a Photoshop type app, but it gets the job done, and quickly. For most home documents, this tool will be a time saver, and produce good enough results.

Thanks, Brahm!

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About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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