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What about transparency am I not getting? - Adobe Photoshop Elements

This is sort of like What about NO do you not understand? But Nancy T said this was the place to ask, so I am. When I use the word transparency, I visualize being able to look thru something into something else, or vice versa. Yet in PS2, the only transparency I see is a checkered box which I don't really want. I'm learning to deal with that. But here's my problem. In another program I had on another computer, I used to be able to take a .Gif file and transform the background into a transparency so when I ...

  1. #1

    Default What about transparency am I not getting?

    This is sort of like What about NO do you not understand? But Nancy T said this was the place to ask, so I am.

    When I use the word transparency, I visualize being able to look thru something into something else, or vice versa.

    Yet in PS2, the only transparency I see is a checkered box which I don't really want. I'm learning to deal with that. But here's my problem.

    In another program I had on another computer, I used to be able to take a .Gif file and transform the background into a transparency so when I inserted it on the web page, there was no square of any color/shape showing, and the picture was the only thing you saw, against the web page's background.

    I can't seem to achieve anything like it in Adobe. Is there a way? I also would like to do this for powerpoint shows, etc. and am having an awful time. I can color (with the fill) the background and blend into the show, but that's as far as I've gotten.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, and I'm taking heart, Nancy. You said there were no Stupid questions. LOL - I loved the sharks, too.

    Lorace
    Lorace Graham Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: What about transparency am I not getting?

    Lorace: Oh, you are so close to having what you want there!

    The checkered box is a stand-in for transparency; it will really show up as
    transparent if you save the image in GIF, at least in PowerPoint. I had
    never done it before but I just tried it and it worked great. Here's what I
    did:

    1. Opened up an image of an old house. In the Layers palette, I
    double-clicked on it and renamed it Layer 0, which converted it from a
    background layer to a regular layer. Regular layers can have transparency,
    while background layers cannot.
    2. I selected, then erased (via Edit>Clear) the sky and the ground around
    the house; the checkerboard pattern appeared surrounding the house.
    3. I went to File>Save for Web and in the upper right half of the dialog
    box picked GIF, Selective, Diffusion, 256 colors, Dither 100% and checked
    transparency. I then hit OK and saved it on my desktop.
    4. I opened up a new PowerPoint presentation, changed the background color
    of a new blank slide to a hideous shade of orange, then did an
    Insert>Picture>From File and grabbed the house pic off the desktop. After
    resizing and repositioning, the house was there, completely surrounded with
    orange - no white box!

    Not sure how to do it on the web, but I would guess it works the same way.

    Chuck

    p.s. Great name, Lorace!


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: What about transparency am I not getting?

    Lorace,

    Firstly, I'm glad to see you spit that cork out...hooray!

    Chuck's engineering background benefits people with questions as his answers are always so thorough. In reading your post I knew you were there you just didn't know it! **checkerboard=transparency** As you probably know, only certain file formats support transparency however, jpg not being one of them.

    In Chuck's example; if he had created a new layer, put a red square on it (positioning it at the same x,y location as the house), dragged that layer under the house, clicked on the house layer to make it active, selected the door and hit delete, the house layer would also have transparency in the door area but you woulldn't see a checkboard there, you'd see a red door because the lower layer is showing through.

    I do hope you are working your files in the .psd format, many advantages for doing so.

    Glad you've joined the forum Lorace!

    Nancy
    Nancy S Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: What about transparency am I not getting?

    Incidentally, Lorace, you don't have to see the checkerboard for transparency. In Photoshop Elements>preferences>transparency you can adjust the size of the grid or turn it off altogether.

    It's not a good idea to do that, though, since you will have a hard time telling when you've achieved transparency without it.
    Barbara Brundage Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: What about transparency am I not getting?

    Oh, wow! In my wildest dreams I couldn't have expected such great answers! I am absolutely jubilant. Thanks so much, Chuck, your answer was so clear to me.

    And Nancy, yes, I started saving in the Psd format, not knowing why, but it was suggested in several places in the forum, so I've been doing it.

    Barbara, neat comment - now that I know the checkerboard is not my enemy, I am fine. lol.

    Why I even figured out what RGB color is, all on my own!

    Thanks, again.

    Lorace
    Lorace Graham Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: What about transparency am I not getting?

    I am having the same problem... when I export an image for web using png-8 format, even though transparancy is checked, the image has a white box around it. I followed all the instructions above. I created a new layer, just added a blue rectangle, deleted the bottom layer, then saved for web using png-8 with transparency turned on. When I add the image to a dark background anywhere (e.g. powerpoint) I see the white box around the image. I do see the grey/whiter checkerboard in photoshop elements (9), but it's not really transparent when I use the image. Any ideas?
    Unregistered Guest

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