The background eraser tool lets you erase pixels on a layer to transparency as you drag; this allows you to erase the background while maintaining the edges of an object in the foreground. By specifying different sampling and tolerance options, you can control the range of the transparency and the sharpness of the boundaries. The background eraser samples the color in the center of the brush, also called the hot spot, and deletes that color wherever it appears inside the brush. It also performs color extraction at the edges of any foreground objects, so that color halos are not visible if the foreground object is later pasted into another image.

Note: The background eraser overrides the lock transparency setting of a layer. To use the background eraser tool:

1 In the Layers palette, select the layer containing the areas you want to erase.

2 Select the background eraser tool .

3 Click the brush sample in the options bar and set brush options in the pop-up palette:

• For more information on the Diameter, Hardness, Spacing, Angle, and Roundness options, see "Customizing brush tips (Photoshop)" on page 230.

• If you're using a pressure-sensitive digitizing tablet, choose options from the Size and Tolerance menus to vary the size and tolerance of the background eraser over the course of a stroke. Choose Pen Pressure to base the variation on the pen pressure. Choose Stylus Wheel to base the variation on the position of the pen thumbwheel. Choose Off to not vary the size or tolerance.

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