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Chapter 5. Advanced Graphics > Creating Transparent GIFs

Creating Transparent GIFs

When you make a transparent GIF, you designate one color in the image's palette to be the transparent color. Pixels painted with the transparent color enable the background color to show through. Figure 5.11 showed you transparent and nontransparent versions of the same image.

This technique is useful in getting rid of the bounding box that typically surrounds a graphic. When you compose an image in a graphics program, the workspace is almost always rectangular. Your image goes inside this rectangular region (the bounding box), and invariably some amount of space exists between the image and the edges of the box. By choosing the color of the excess space pixels to be transparent, you make them disappear on the browser screen. This is what happened in Figure 5.11. The bounding box pixels in the image using the transparency option were the ones designated as transparent, so they enabled the white background to show through and give the effect of the circle sitting right on top of the Web page.


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