Designing Your Visions!

By: Anne Palumbo

When you export an indexed-color image to GIF, you use the GIF89a Export dialog box to choose transparency options for the GIF image. You can select more than one color to be transparent.
For the most control, however, you may want to convert your image to RGB, create transparency in Photoshop using layers, and then convert the RGB image to GIF. Creating transparency in RGB mode lets you feather transparent areas. Converting to GIF from RGB also lets you reduce the number of colors in an indexed-color image.

To export an indexed-color image to GIF:
1.Choose File, Export, GIF89a Export.
2. To define specifically colored areas of the image as transparent, click the eyedropper-plus
tool and click the desired areas in the preview or the desired colors from the swatches.

Then do one of the following:
To make transparent areas the same color as the browser window background, leave the Transparency Preview Color box at its default. (The default is Netscape gray 192 R, 192 G, and 192 B.)
To change the color used for displaying transparent areas, click the Transparency Preview Color box. Choose a new color. Click OK.

If your background color is the same color as another element in the image and you want only the background to be transparent, you must create an alpha channel to mask the background.

1.To designate additional colors in the image as transparent areas, click the eyedropper-plus tool and click the colors in the preview or in the set of swatches. The selected colors appear highlighted in the swatches.
2.To preview the image, follow the navigation guidelines described the previous procedure.

If dissatisfied with the results, do one of the following:
1.To restore a single color in the image, hold down Option (Macintosh) or Alt (Windows) and click the eyedropper-plus tool to switch to the eyedropper-minus tool. Click a swatch to restore the color.
2.To activate the eyedropper-minus tool while the eyedropper-plus tool is selected in the GIF89a Export Preview, press Command (Macintosh) or Ctrl (Windows); to activate the eyedropper-plus tool while the eyedropper-minus tool is selected, press Shift.

To restore all colors in the image, hold down Option (Macintosh) or Alt (Windows) and click Reset. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed.
Select or deselect the Interlaced and Export Caption options, as described in steps 11 and 12 of the previous procedure.
Click OK to export the file. Choose a location for the exported file, and click Save.

Good Luck!

*** Anne Palumbo is a consultant for business web designs. She is noted for her articles on marketing, design, and developer tricks and tips.
** As a web author, she designs original graphics, site layout configurations, provides database and script integration, and writes company content.
* You can find some of her work at: A.Palumbo Consultants
* You can also drop Anne a note - she’d be pleased to hear from you.

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