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How to make a gif with a transparent background?

I want to make an image with a transparent background. I downloaded GIMP for my Mac, which someone told me was like Photoshop only free, but I can't work out how to do it. Can anyone tell me how to do this or do I need a different app?

This is quite easy, although it is not obvious how you do it. Go to the Layer menu and select Transparency, Add alpha channel. Use the magic wand to select the colour you want to make transparent, then return to the Layer menu and select Transparency, Color to alpha.

It helps if you make the colour you want to make transparent the same colour as the background the image will be placed on. It makes the edges blend in better. Also, png files are usually better than gif these days.

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