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Where is alpha channel?

Jan 30, 2010 8:00 PM

Just got CS4 for OSX. Got a PNG RGB with 8bit, and it clearly has alpha, but the channel view doesn't show it. The color picker says my semi-transparent pixel is 255,255,255 but no alpha value.


How do I show the alpha channel???




jamie the noob.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2010 8:42 PM   in reply to jbriant

    As far as I can tell, png allows transparency but it does not allow an actual alpha channel. I does appear that the file format does indeed retain that information. Go to the Select menu and down to Load Selection, where you can load the selection of the transparency. So it's there in the file, you can access it, but just not saved as an Alpha channel. Interesting.

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    Jan 30, 2010 11:00 PM   in reply to jbriant

    PNG files do not support Alpha Channels but they do support transparency.  If you Command or Control click on the Layer thumbnail to load the selection you can then add an Alpha Channel in the Channels Panel. That will allow you to "see" the Alpha transparency for what its worth. It will not be saved with the PNG.  Alternatively you can bring up the Save for Web dialog and as you mouse over the image areas you will get an Alpha indication in the bottom of the window.

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    Jan 31, 2010 11:52 PM   in reply to jbriant

    A lot has changed since V6 no doubt, including the disappearance of Image Ready. I have not worked extensively with PNGs in the manner you describe, however, after a short trip to Fireworks it seems that you will find all your needs there with respect to editing the Aplha objects.


    I will presume your purpose is to create/modify graphics for either web or Flash. I believe PNG is the native file format of Fireworks but  I will say, aside form it being on my machine as part of the Design Suite, I rarely open it.


    It is available as a stand alone application for $300 or $150 upgrade.

    There is a Trial Version available which may be worth investigating if no one else chimes in with a more accurate answer.

    Id be very interested to find out if this is in fact the solution you are looking for.




    In this image you can see the A value. The object was pink and then converted to Alpha with a transparency of 80%. So, the Alpha object and properties are editable.

    When opening the file in Photoshop you will see the same as you have been. 3 channels with transparency but no additional channel.

    So to answer your ultimate question. Photoshop does not do what it apparently did for you in Version 6.


    Message was edited by: David A Rogers. Added image with explanation

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