I put a lot of images into my blog or presentations. I do not like to be wordy. Sometimes I spend a lot of time cleaning them up and getting rid of backgrounds. Time to clean them up a faster way that will make the OCD in you happy.

Take a source image like this Docker Whale for example.

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.18.23 amBring it into OSX Keynote.

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Here we can use the instant alpha feature inside keynote.

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This lets you select a color and mask it out of the image. In this case, I select and drag the radius the color is sampled. It then highlights in an aquamarine color the areas it will mask. It is located under Format > Image > Instant Alpha

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.23.47 am

Release the mouse and instantly the color is hidden. No more zooming in and erasing only to make a mistake and having to undo a whole section. Let alone the time saved.

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.19.29 am

Copy and paste features work really well on OSX/Quartz. I can copy and paste the entire image around in .PNG. It allows subsequent use and re-use elsewhere. In this case I am chosing my paste destination to be Google Slides and after a few seconds upload I easily have a pasted graphic.

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.20.43 am

Quartz is the backend graphics framework which extends down from the graphic layer to the compositor. This is what allows for such actions as copy and paste, automated png creation and seamless application fluency.

I’ve taken something that took quite a few minutes and reduced it to seconds. You don’t know what you don’t know and this has saved me lots of time in the long run.

Thanks to Roman Tarnavski for the few tips in speeding up my workflow.

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