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Why Can’t I Make my Image Transparent?

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In this session we answer the question, “Why can’t I make my image transparent? We talk about how a transparent image can be created using a graphics editing program like photoshop or paint.net and then how to optimize the image which means that we pick the one that is the smallest in size but has the right quality of appearance.

Video Transcript

Member: I thought I could fix the problem but I haven’t been able to do it yet.

Rick: Go ahead. Fire away.

Member: I’m having a problem with the header plugin. I snagged an image. It’s this temporary image but I saved it to a PNG and I can’t get the white to disappear. In other words, the logo…

Rick: The background color, sure.

Member: Yeah. And I clicked on transparency but that didn’t seem to work.

Rick: No, that wouldn’t work. The ear… you atually have to create a trasnparent image in a graphics editing program like Photoshop. There’s no way for you to capture a trasnparent image as a screen capture.

Member: But it has a… when you do that, it’s saved in a PNG file, right?

Rick: Depending upon the kind of file, the kind of transparency you want to use, it can either be a GIF or a PNG. If it is… I mean, what you want to do is you want to optimize it. So optimizing means you know, picking the one that is the smallest in size but still has the right quality of appearance. If it’s a semi-transparent image then yes, it has to be a PNG and a PNG-24. But if it’s not semi-transparent, that is, if it’s… if whatever is exposed is solid color, it can either be a PNG-8 or a GIF because they have goth… neither of them support semi-transparency but they both support regular transparency.

Member: Okay. My next question is yeah, I did that with another site that works so… but the way I saved it, it wasn’t by using SnagIt, etc.

Rick: Well, I don’t’ think SnagIt can produce a transparent image for you anyway.

Member: Right. I think that’s the problem. I’ve been trying and trying but obviously, I was climbing the mountain without any real help there. But…

Rick: Well, you can use Paint.net. Paint.net is a free program that you can use to create a transparent image.

Member: Okay yeah because I used that Gimp thing but it doesn’t support PNG.

Rick: Actually, it does support PNG, sure. You can create PNGs with Gimp. The thing is that… Gimp is very complicated. Free, but nevertheless, very complicated piece of software.

Member: Compared to Paint.net?

Rick: Yes. Compared to Paint.net and even compared to when it competes with Photoshop. I mean, it’s just… I mean, I think on some level in that case, you’re getting what you pay for. I mean, it’s a avery, very powerful software but it’s an not easy piece of software to use by any means.

Member: Okay.

Rick: Paint.net is not nearly as powerful but is much simpler to use.

Member: Oh yeah, I need simple.

Rick: Yeah, Paint.net.

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