It's kind of a pain to save transparent layers in images when you're a programmer by trade and just want a few placeholder images. On the Mac, Paintbrush'll do it, but you've got to watch a YouTube video with the craziest background noise and grossest random colors ever to learn how.

You'd think there'd be an easier way on Windows, but for png, there's kinda not. Paint.NET is a common suggestion, and a good one. But wouldn't it be nice if IrfanView made it easy for you?

It doesn't. At least not with pngs. But with gifs? Child's play, as explained on this webpage from 2004:

  • Save as GIF - Choose GIF. Choose GIF - Compuserve GIF from the drop down menu.
  • Save as GIF - type in filename. Make sure that 'Save Transparent Color' and 'Choose transparent color during saving' boxes are checked. Type in the filename. Hit the Save button.
  • Set Transparency. Place your cursor anywhere on the background of the depicted image and click on it to save.

Check out this groovy how-to image. Groovy. But here's a screenshot I took, just because the llizard guy seems copyright paranoid:

And just to prove the point, here it isn't for png:

PS -- This may be a better option. Requires some setup, but then you've allegedly got transparency at a right-click in explorer whenever you need it.

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