How to Get Rid of the Pesky Box around Your Image

Do you like the way this image looks? Have you seen images online with a rectangle around it like it had been cut out without trimming to the shape of your image?  It’s not here on this Kindle image. Learn how to get rid of it easily with a free photoeditor, GIMP.

Get Rid of “The Box”

Your easy steps:

  1. Download GIMP.
  2. Open the image.
  3. Select the magic wand in the toolbox, which will select a contiguous region.
  4. Touch the wand to the area you want to “cut out.”
  5. Click on “Layer / Transparency” on the top bar.
  6. Click on Add Alpha Channel. (If the words are grey, the image already has a layer for storing transparency information.)
  7. Select Edit / Clear.  You’ll see a “checkerboard” where the image will be transparent.
  8. EXPORT the image as a PNG file. That is, replace “jpg” with “png.” (Don’t use “save” – use “export.”)

Ready to Publish!

Now you’re ready to use the image on your blog, website, or prayer letter. These steps will also work on an unusual shape, like this ink blot.

I always use the PNG file format, but just read on that Internet Explorer doesn’t support PNG alpha channels (transparencies).  I’ll have to look into this; meanwhile, if you prefer, read Tim’s specific advice about exporting images in the GIF file format, which will work on all browser platforms.


  • Thanks to for refreshing my memory on this.  Tim also has some additional tips on this if you need extra help.
  • The Kindle image is available on Wikimedia Commons.

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