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Learn how to quickly remove a background from an image in Adobe Express

Removing a background from an image can be a rather simple task for any experienced designer. But what about non-designers? Or what if you just need a simple cutout and don't feel like firing up Photoshop?

Adobe Express is the perfect solution for either of those scenarios. In this tutorial, I'll go over how to to remove a background from a portrait and later place the image in a social media post using InDesign.

The image used in this tutorial is part of Adobe Stock's free collection and can be downloaded here. You can download the InDesign document to follow along here.

Remove a Background

  • In a web browser, go to

  • Click the plus icon in the upper-right corner.

  • From the menu flyout, choose Remove Background.

  • Drag and drop the image in the area or click the Browse on Your Device link to choose the image from your computer.

  • Adobe Express will detect the subject in the image and remove the background. Once complete, click the download button.

Here is a photo slide of the steps explained above:

Next, let's explore how to add the image to a social media post layout in InDesign. In this next part, I will show you how to add the image inside a shape and create a mask effect, so it appears the subject is coming out of the shape in the Instagram post layout.

Here's how to do it.

Create Mask Effect

  • Drag and drop the image in the shape, which has a light pink color fill.

  • Increase the size and position the image to your satisfaction. Ensure that the subject's head is above the top of the shape.

  • Click the content grabber (or donut depending on what you like to call it!) and go to Edit > Copy or Command + C (Mac), Ctrl + C (Windows).

  • Click anywhere on the pasteboard with the Selection Tool to get out of the current frame selection.

  • Go to Edit > Paste in Place.

  • Adjust the frame on the copied image and crop to the subject's head only.

Here is a photo slide of the steps explained above:

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