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  Using a Matte Color In GIF Images
With Transparent Backgrounds

A tutorial for Adobe® ImageReady™ or Macromedia® Fireworks®

You may find that when you create a transparent GIF image with objects having anti-aliased edges that the image will display fine on a web page with a white background but not on one with a colored background. Most image editing software will use white for the default matte color unless otherwise specified. The anti-aliased pixels will show up as an unwanted halo around the object in the image when it is displayed over a colored background. The cure for this is to create the GIF using a background matte color that is identical to the color over which the transparent GIF will be displayed. The images below illustrate the point.

Transparent GIF of an anti-aliased letter "g" over a white background.

  The same transparent GIF over a colored background.   Transparent GIF (that uses a matte color) over a colored background.


How To Make GIF Images With a Matte Color

1. Shown below is a view of an opened image in the document window:

ImageReady Fireworks

2. Below is a view of the Optimize palette in each program (Macromedia refers to palettes as "panels"). Click the small triangle next the the word "Matte:" in the palette (circled below).

ImageReady Fireworks

3. Select the matte color using the one of the color pickers.

ImageReady Fireworks

4. The palette will display a small color swatch of the matte color to be used.

ImageReady Fireworks

5. Once the Optimize palette has been setup, simply click File > Save Optimized As... (ImageReady) or File > Export (Fireworks) to create the GIF file.


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