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need help with transparent/white issue
Most file formats are flat offering no transparency and Photoshop defaults transparency to white.
Originally only Photoshop PSD format had transparency and layers - but in later versions TIFF and PDF can do all that PSD can do and offer more compression options (but perhaps not the same level of compatibility and acceptance).
At this point Photoshop is the only app AFAIK that can access the layer content and transparency of layered TIFF - all other apps use the composite flat version. Some apps can treat an alpha channel in the fourth channel slot as a transparency mask and base the transparency on that - MS Office apps are a good example. The file is still flat, but the app that handles the file plays tricks with the alpha to make transparency.
RGBA or Alpha were also popular in TGA or TARGA format for video content creators. PNG seems to be a good choice too for some apps like Macromedia Flash.
So as a TIFF - not usually, not for use in other apps for contone raster transparency, but yes for bitmap mode or with clip path on contone data. If the app can read a alpha as a mask, then you may be in luck.
PSD - yes for raster transparency in Illus9 or 10, or InDesign 2).
Web formats - I am pretty sure that transparent PNG is treated as transparent, even multi levels of opacity. GIF is handled correctly by MS Office type apps.
Further info: Bitmap mode or bilevel TIFF will have the white raster areas treated as transparent in Illustration or Layout applications (one can colour the black pixels in layout/illus with TIFF as well). Bitmap mode EPS has an option for this transparent option in Photoshops bitmap mode EPS save dialog box.
Contone modes like grayscale, RGB and CMYK have needed a hard edged PostScript clipping path for transparency in most apps in the high end print market, but office and other apps may use a alpha channel raster mask. It all depends. <g>
So many folk have to include the background in the Photoshop file using the complex transparency features there, instead of placing the image over the background in another app and attempting to make the transparency happen there. Simple hard edged transparency can be applied via clip paths. This is a workflow problem that Adobe have addressed with their 'holy grail' transparency features in later releases of Illustrator and InDesign.
It would have been nice to have contone raster transparency via an alpha mask in high end print apps over the last fifteen years - but what MS Word seems to do with ease Adobe and Quark and Macromedia seem to lag behind.
Confused? Welcome to transparency, this is just the start of the fun, it gets even more complex with Illus9 or 10 or InDesign.
Last edited by Stephen M; 06-04-2003 at 06:29 AM.
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