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How to Create a Transparent Image in Paint.net

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This member asks how to create a transparent image using a free tool. I suggest that Paint.net is capable of doing this. I show how to create the image from scratch, add a layer, hide the base layer and save the image as a transparent gif or png.

Video Transcript

Thank you. Can I ask you another quick question though?

Absolutely.

It’s about… I would like to have… I know that one of your examples like you showed us how to have different headers in different pages and by grouping the different… I don’t remember the exact name but how do you create a transparent header in a free tool like Gimp or Picnic or any other free tools that are out there?

Well, are you working on a PC?

Yes.

Okay, so use Paint.net and I’ll show you. Let’s see, where is Paint.net? Here it is. I don’t know about the other tools but I certainly can show you how to do that on Paint.net.

That’s perfect for me.

Let’s see, oh there’s an update. Let’s see, let’s just install when we exit. Okay, I need to make sure I’m in the right spot on this… on my screen. Okay, my screen works properly. Okay so let’s say that we want to create a header that’s like 200 pixels by 900 pixels, let’s say. So, let’s create a new file and then the pixel width is going to be 900 pixels. The pixel height would be 200 pixels and the resolution will be 72. Pixels per inch, we say okay to that. And then what we do is we create a layer so we add a new layer and we turn off the background layer which is white. So now, you have this little checkerboard thing right here. What that is it’s just the transparent layer and then file, save, and we are going to save this as a PNG. And we’ll save it as a… let’s just call it blank header or blank.png or blank header. We’ll save it and let’s see… I think we can make it quite small really. So we’ll take it down to 8 bits since this is transparent anyway. Say okay to that… isn’t that interesting?

Is there a reason why you don’t want like to see it flatten the image?

Oh look, okay so I flattened the image here. Well, let’s just try it… let’s just see if that worked. Maybe it did work. Maybe I was just too concerned that the background was actually white. Maybe this whole thing would have worked the first time. But we’ve now… let’s just go to another… let’s see. Let’s go to the Community Library Website and let’s put a background image in there. So then, we… let’s see. WP Admin and then Thesis header image… choose a file and that file is in Libraries, documents… let’s see. Is it my websites? No, that’s not my websites. My website’s here… hit save there. My business website… that’s where it was saved. I think I saved it in graphics here. We’ll grab it…

The one totally at the end there…looks black.

Untitled gif, right. Upload it, okay. There it is so it’s a blank image. So if we go back to our site now, there’s that blank image and if we go to a different page and click on this blank space, it takes us back to the home.

Nice.

So that’s how you do it.

Perfect.

You just take a… you create the set the way you want it. You add a layer, you turn off the background layer and then you save it either as a PNG or a GIF file. And then… I guess you could say okay to the flattening and then it becomes a transparent image that you can then use for everything else.

Excellent. Now at the beginning, you want to save it like 8 bit. Is it because like it’s smaller and it’s the best way to go?

Yeah. What you’re trying for is the smallest file size possible so that it doesn’t do anything for you, right? So in this case, see how big that file is? Let’s go down here where you can see it and then back into my business websites… it’s someplace in here. There it is. Graphics and then our untitled gif is 2 kb so it’s pretty small. But if we try it again and we save this as a file, save as… and instead of that, we save it as a PNG and we… let’s just call it blank. And we do it down to 8 bit and say… auto detect might actually do the right thing but if we just say 8 bit for a second and say okay to that. And come back over here and refresh our list, our blank PNG… oh, it’s actually a little larger. That’s 3 kb instead of 2 kb. Well, it’s 2.33 kb where this is 1.50 kb so it’s about half. So in any case you know, the difference between 2 kb and 3 kb is no big deal but a jpeg this size would be 20 kb. So that’s why you’re trying to make it as small as possible.

Thanks a lot.

So…

Well, thank you. Thanks a lot.

Okay?

Yeah.

Hey, you’re welcome. That’s good. Good question.

Thank you.

And hopefully, we’ll just see you on Wednesday.

Perfect.

Okay.

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2 comments… add one
  • Smart Ho November 2, 2011, 10:43 pm

    yes i just learn this …simple can clear .easy to follow

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