Workaround to crop background removed images

Sparkle 4 introduced a great tool to remove backgrounds. This AI tool is so effective, it will do several minutes of image editing work in a few seconds. However after backgrounds are removed, the original sizes of the images will not change keeping empty space around the subjects which can sometimes makes it hard to get the desired image placement on a website.

I believe the Sparkle team are working hard to add features that make Sparkle so much easier to design a website and I hope in-app image cropping is somewhere in the list. But until then, this is what I use to crop out undesired spaces from images fast.

  1. Copy the image from Sparkle (Cmd+C),
  2. Open Pages (the app) and paste it on a blank page,
  3. While the pasted image is selected, go to “Images” tab on the right top corner of the format bar.
  4. Press “Edit Mask” and crop out the unnecessary areas of the image, hit “Done” on the hovering bar under the image and copy the final result,
  5. Go back to Sparkle and paste.

I hope this helps.


Thanks mate, thats great. We need more of those tutorials and workarounds.

Thanks @Nathan for the great tip! :slight_smile:

Nice workaround!
But what if you just began with Pages’ Instant Alpha in the first place? Then copied and pasted into Sparkle?
Wouldn’t that work?


A good trick. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Thank you very much.

Let’s hope to have that image cropping capability in Sparkle soon.

@macmancape, I don’t think it will be easier to use Pages’ Instant Alpha with a background like on this image, which Sparkle can remove the background with great precision in seconds, while pages’ Instant Alpha takes a long time without a good enough result.

1 Like

Which mac OS is needed to get the “Remove Background” possibility? (It doesn’t show up in 10.10 to 10.13)

It relies on system machine learning functionality that Apple added in Big Sur (11.0).

Just for reference, Pages’ Instant Alpha either selects part of the subject or not enough background, or both… see the blue parts.

Sparkle uses relatively modern machine learning techniques and produces this:

There’s no doubt in my mind that this kind of use of machine learning will become very common across Apple apps.


Thanks Duncan, couldn’t find the information online.

I tried Sparkle’s background removal tool, just to play around, and was so impressed by its power that I set up my “I’m under construction” pages with its result in a black and white photo.

I think the perfect complement is being able to crop images within Sparkle.

1 Like

I also can’t use this lovely option :smiling_face_with_tear:

Worth reminding everybody of this:


I’m already preparing for a new Mac. Unfortunately, they have also removed the 27" model from the range. I suspect new models will come in september/october. If not, it will be around that time that I will/must upgrade to the latest IOS version.

I’ve been very happy with the latest iMac that came out last year. The Apple Silicon makes a huge difference in launching all apps; it’s a game changer! Used to take Photoshop a couple of minutes to launch on my old Intel iMac. Same with Photos and even with Mail. Now, everything is up and running almost instantly, in one or two seconds. And the overall system runs much more smoothly with no crashes. If I were you I’d go for it! Just be sure to upgrade the RAM to 16 from the standard 8 gigs.

Just got to show you how good Sparkle can be at removing even a complex background.
This Dutch girl was enjoying her first ever lobster at a waterfront restaurant on Cape Cod, MA. I wanted to use her on the website but didn’t want all the clutter in the background. Sparkle to the rescue! Thanks, Duncan!
(Restaurant is:

1 Like

Nice to read your positive experience of the latest version Imac. In the fall, another Mac is going to happen here too. I was already in the Macstore to try out the amazing speed. Awesome.

How nice to see a fellow countrywoman eating lobster. Although we also know many seafood restaurants here that sell lobster (close to the North Sea) I also marvel at the great quality of removing the background in a photo. That’s going to save me a lot of work in Photoshop. Really a good job of Sparkle cq Duncan (&team).

The sparcke option is super good, Page’s instant Alpha accuracy depends on the quality of the background and color of the image… Especially if the background is saturated with color and textures…