Sunday, May 20, 2007

Making a transparent Gif with the free Paint.Net

[This was originally posted at http://timstall.dotnetdevelopersjournal.com/making_a_transparent_gif_with_the_free_paintnet.htm]

Sometimes a developer will need to make a transparent GIF, such as for a web page. This should be trivial - you essentially want to say "make every pixel that is color X be transparent", but most standard development tools (VS, Paint, etc...) don't let you do this. While there are lots of expensive graphics programs out there, most developers don't have these.

An easy way to make a transparent gif is using the free Paint.Net (written entirely in .Net).

  1. Download Paint.Net. It's a pretty good, free, graphics editing tool.
  2. Open up your image. Save it as a gif.
  3. In the Tool section, use the "Magic Wand" feature.
  4. Set it's tolerance to '0%'
  5. Drag it over the section you want to make transparent. The magic wand catches an entire region of adjacent, same-color-range, pixels
  6. Once the region is selected, then hit the delete key. [Updated 12/11/2007]

I find this convenient for simple web imaging needs. Also, Paint.Net has a ton of other features, like gradients, blends, and special effects.

 


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