The Gimp: Making Colors in a GIF Transparent
USA Linux Users Group
Web Site: http://www.usalug.org
Sometimes when working with an image you want to make a certain
color transparent. When working with a gif file this would make a
round circle look round on any color background. This is actually
very simple once you do it once. Finding the information for this
took me a while so I thought I would pass it on to anyone that was
1. Open your image in the gimp.
2. Right click the image and go to LAYERS then ADD ALPHA
CHANNEL. You won't notice anything happening, but don't be
concerned. It basically adds a transparent layer at the bottom of
your image so when we erase the colors.....it's shows the
transparent layer. Which of course would show whatever was 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. Now click on the color in the image you want to be
transparent. These colors will now show up outlined.
5. Right click on the image again and go to EDIT and then down
to CLEAR. This should now erase the outlined color you just picked
from the image and the "transparent gimp checkerbox" should show
through. This is the Gimps way of showing you that section is now
6. Right click on the image and choose SAVE AS and make sure to
save as a GIF file if you want the transparency to work on the
Most of this information was gleaned from this webpage: http://courses.washington.edu/englhtml/engl481/usegimp.html
and of course my Gimp Bible and my Essential Gimp books.
Editor's note: the Washington.edu link above has disappeared. This
http://courses.washington.edu/hypertxt/engl282/usegimp.html works as of May 2008.
Another fun feature that can be used while using the SELECT and
BY COLOR ..... instead of hitting CLEAR you can FILL W BG COLOR or
the other one FILL W FG COLOR ........... this allows you to change
the colors over the entire image instantly for the particular pixel
color you choose to start with. Very fast and fun once you figure
Technorati tags: gimp
If this page was useful to you, please help others find it:
More Articles by Crouse
Have you tried Searching this site?
Unix/Linux/Mac OS X support by phone, email or on-site:
This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more. We appreciate comments and article submissions.
Publishing your articles here
Jump to Comments
Many of the products and books I review are things I purchased for my own use. Some were given to me specifically for the purpose of reviewing them. I resell or can earn commissions from the sale of some of these items. Links within these pages may be affiliate links that pay me for referring you to them. That's mostly insignificant amounts of money; whenever it is not I have made my relationship plain. I also may own stock in companies mentioned here. If you have any question, please do feel free to contact me.
Specific links that take you to pages that allow you to purchase the item I reviewed are very likely to pay me a commission. Many of the books I review were given to me by the publishers specifically for the purpose of writing a review. These gifts and referral fees do not affect my opinions; I often give bad reviews anyway.
We use Google third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.