Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Masked/Transparent .PNG as background/wallpaper...

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8

    Masked/Transparent .PNG as background/wallpaper?


    So, I swear this used to work. I have a company logo that is a transparent .PNG image. However, the frame of the image is filled with opaque black (or sometimes white) when I set it as my wallpaper.

    I find this really strange, as the transparency shows up correctly in the .PNG file's Explorer Icon - even in the Personalize -> Desktop Background menu.

    Click image for larger version

    Why does Windows show the icon with transparency but the image itself without it?

    If I set the background to Center or Tile (where Windows doesn't have to resample it) then the raw RGB colors show up, including where they should be masked out by the .PNG's Alpha. If I set it to Fit or Fill (where Windows has to resample it) then the pixles which should be masked show up as solid black. It clearly is a transparent .PNG, and it is reading that transparency, it just isn't using it.

    So,
    1. Why does transparency work in the explorer Icons and Tiles, but not as a desktop background?
    2. Is it possible to get Windows to read the image correctly everywhere, not just in some places?

    The image doesn't fit the entire screen, so I'd just like the transparent parts to be transparent and show my desktop background color, in this case grey... like it shows up in the icon.

    (Also yes, I'm just going to make a solid version with the right background color so it matches. This still bugs me though, and any help is appreciated )
    Last edited by ShawnWDP; 06 Oct 2013 at 05:35.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    I can't answer any of your questions but I did some testing and I only can confirm your findings; however, there is an easy fix for your situation and I think you already knew that anyway. However, during my own testing, I used this procedure to obtain the desired effect you are looking for:

    Identified my screen resolution as 1366x768
    Created an all white bmp file to that size
    Cut and pasted a partially sized black image into the center of the above
    Enable transparency inside the selected window/area (eg the white area)
    Saved it a a gif file
    Selected the above as my desktop background:

    Click image for larger version

    Yeah, I know, really ugly but the theme background colors show thru. FYI, I used Photofiltre Free to do the editing. Good luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8


    Interesting though! I tried to duplicate your results, but saving it as a .GIF didn't seem to work for me. I haven't perfectly set up the resolution like you have though, so I'm sure there is some factor like that I haven't done... Its interesting though... You definitely got some transparency going.

    Not really surprising or as effective as what you found, but I realized Photo Viewer loads the transparency correctly too. I also realize its a 'program,' not Windows itself like the desktop, but it is a native program, and I just don't get why Microsoft didn't enable desktops to use transparency. The layer is clearly there, the solid color is behind whatever image you use.

    Am I the only one who remembers this working on an older version of Windows? I still swear I used to use animated .GIFs and transparent .PNGs all the time when I was a kid.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks for you acknowledgement BTW. It is very much appreciated.

    Interesting though! I tried to duplicate your results, but saving it as a .GIF didn't seem to work for me.
    So, what didn't work? The transparency portion or the background image as a .gif?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    I tried to make a 1920x1080 and attach it but when I downloaded it back for a test I had lost the transparency. Don't know why? Maybe if I zipped it so let me know if you would like to try it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents View Post
    Thanks for you acknowledgement BTW. It is very much appreciated.

    Interesting though! I tried to duplicate your results, but saving it as a .GIF didn't seem to work for me.
    So, what didn't work? The transparency portion or the background image as a .gif?

    The transparency, and you're more than welcome.

    I still feel like there has to be a way to trick Windows into not compressing the file/erasing its alpha mask. The truth is I make a lot of designs, and a lot of them are masked .PNG files, and I'd like to have the slideshow desktop show them on my laptop so clients can see my previous work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnWDP View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents View Post
    Thanks for you acknowledgement BTW. It is very much appreciated.

    Interesting though! I tried to duplicate your results, but saving it as a .GIF didn't seem to work for me.
    So, what didn't work? The transparency portion or the background image as a .gif?

    The transparency, and you're more than welcome.

    I still feel like there has to be a way to trick Windows into not compressing the file/erasing its alpha mask. The truth is I make a lot of designs, and a lot of them are masked .PNG files, and I'd like to have the slideshow desktop show them on my laptop so clients can see my previous work.
    I can't make a png work either but I can make a gif work. If interested, I can show you how:

    Click image for larger version

    BTW, I used Photofiltre portable. Its available here for free:

    http://photofiltre.********/download_en.htm

    What I did:

    1. created a blank (white) 1366x768 bmp
    2. opened a png image (logo) and copy/pasted it directly into the bmp
    3. used the magic wand (right side menu) at 30% transparency (default) to enable transparency for selected (white) areas
    4. saved finished product as a gif
    5. opened themes and switched to the gif background image

    Here is a screenshot of photofiltre with the tools and menus I used:

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    This should work for you demonstration intent (IMHO). Good luck.

    Update: BTW, I did disable the Rainlendar calender to make it look more pleasing than my first attempt with the black box.
    Last edited by my2cents; 10 Oct 2013 at 05:44.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Masked/Transparent .PNG as background/wallpaper...
Related Threads
How do I make the taskbar 100% transparent while keeping the icons untouched? Also, is there a way to remove the white thingy that is behind the icons on the taskbar when they are open? Screenshot of what I want (actually it's a picture of Chrome OS, but it explains what I want) is...
Have dozens of folders under pictures , some folders have subfolders, but my picture gallery is pretty large. I would like to select all those folders to play a slideshow but it seems windows 8.1 will only allow one folder to be selected. IF this is true, would be a terrible waste of hard drive...
Make transparent tiles?? in Customization
I have a Windows phone running WP 8.1 and one of the things it has is the ability to make some of the icons transparent so the background can be seen somewhat muted within the tile. It looks very slick! But I cannot figure a way to do it with Windows 8.1. Is there a way or an app that will...
Hi, I think the title should be pretty explanatory. Essentially, I have made a background with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I have saved the file as PNG with Transparency. Windows Photoviewer shows the transparency but when I set it as my desktop wallpaper this transparency suddenly no...
I was working in Photoshop and hit something accidentally and now there's a clockwise circular arrow icon stuck on my screen. It's on the left and a little below center. It's transparent and I can't interact with it. What do I do? It looks like this: 43768
I have noticed that the Windows Background Wallpaper may still show the same image for a lot longer than my allotted 10 minute shuffle. Once I "prime the pump" by manually changing it, it seems to work normally. So hard to tell though as I run all my programs in full screen. Anyone else notice...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook