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A transparent GIF is an image that has been modified to display only certain parts of the image when placed on a website. Usually, users who want to create transparent GIFs elect to remove the background of the image so that only the important elements of the image show on websites. Transparent GIFs can direct attention and allow for cleaner-looking images on a website.
Transparent GIFs can be created out of standard pictures or original designs that have been saved onto standard, white backgrounds. The backgrounds of either these types of images can be modified and made transparent using a suitable image editing program. In addition, users can turn static, transparent GIFs into animations by manipulating the GIF, adding extra frames and saving it as a new GIF. Transparent GIFs are especially attractive to website owners who use a particular color scheme on their websites and wish to display images without having the image's background color conflict with the website's background color. Similarly, if a website's background texture is relevant to the image's subject, using transparent GIFs may highlight the connection.
Transparent GIFs can also have less obvious uses. Website designers may create transparent GIFs and use them as a type of place holder inside of a table cell. Transparent GIFs used in this way aid in the overall design and function of the website. Website owners who use transparent GIFs for this purpose typically refer to the transparent GIF as a "spacer GIF."
The definition of a transparent GIF may vary between website owners. The words "transparent GIF" can also be used to describe a specific type of invisible device used to monitor traffic and user activity on websites. These GIFs are single pixel and, thus, very small and virtually undetectable. These types of transparent GIFs can also be called "clear GIFs" and "1-by-1 GIFs."
A transparent GIF may be able to be created using common proprietary image editing software. However, some freeware programs can also be used for the same result. The specific steps that should be taken to create a transparent GIF will depend on the image editing program with which the user is working. A user should research his specific program, its functions and its features to determine the best way to create a transparent GIF. Tutorials can also be easily found online by entering the program's name and the words "transparent GIF" into any search engine.