Transparent GIFs with GIMP - Really love this open source project, GIMP. Great substitute for Photoshop -- and it's FREE!

Here's how to create a transparent GIF using GIMP...

  1. Open image in GIMP.
  2. Right click the image and go to LAYERS then ADD ALPHA CHANNEL. Nothing obvious happens, but this step adds a transparent layer underneath your image so that when colors are erased (more later) the image shows the transparent layer and show whatever under it on the screen.
  3. Right click on the image again and go to SELECT and then down to BY COLOR. A window that is all black opens up. Don't change any of the settings....just use the defaults for now.
  4. Click mouse cursor on the color in the image you want to be transparent. This color will now show up outlined.
  5. Right click on the image again and go to EDIT and then down to CLEAR. This erases the outlined color, leaving the image and the "transparent GIMP checker-box" replacing the color selected in previous step. This is the Gimp's way of indicating that the section is now transparent.
  6. Right click on the image and choose SAVE AS -- make sure to save as a GIF file if you want the transparency to work on the web.

Helpful Links

GIMP 2 for Photographers: Image Editing with Open Source Software by Klaus Goelker

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