SlavaSoft Paint Express is an image editor that I try to use for re-shaping one of my Android app's assets. It takes in a .png file, auto-convertit to .bmp (it can't work with PNG format), I do the reshaping, then save the .bmp file. Re-opening the file in SlavaSoft reveals the image file exactly how I have saved it, however, opening the same file in Photoshop, ABitmapEditor or attempting to convert it to .png via zamzar.com all produce the same erroneous output - they do not show the alpha channel.

Tried using the reshaped asset inside my Android app and the same - no alpha channel. What is going on here ? how come SlavaSoft sees the alpha channel while other tools do not ?

Thank you

  • Can you clarify your question? What is :it: in "It takes in a .png file, auto converting it"? Does Paint Express allow you to edit alpha channels?
    – horatio
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 17:52

3 Answers 3


I don't think that BMP supports transparency natively; I have certainly never seen it used.

It may be that your app is using proprietary (or perhaps just obscure) extensions to BMP, which the other apps do not understand.

  • it looks like I was walking in uncharted territory indeed - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMP_file_format. Better take that pill called photoshop and try to do my simple task in an overkill manner.
    – kellogs
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 18:03
  • You don't need Photoshop in many cases. Try Pixelformer, mtPaint, Paint.NET, Artweaver, StylePix, or any other free/open source raster editor.
    – imsky
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 21:52

Paint Express doesn't read PNG alpha data. It seems like a very primitive editor, not sure why you're using it instead of Photoshop.

  • Sounds like he's opening BMPs not PNGs in Paint Express
    – e100
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 11:50
  • AFAICT he is opening a PNG and saving as BMP. The part about "it" taking in a PNG and converting to BMP is probably a misapprehension of what a file format is. I think "it" is Paint Express. Not sure frankly, the question need to be clarified.
    – horatio
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 17:49
  • When you open a PNG file in Paint Express it pops up an alert saying it needs to convert the file to BMP. I've tried this with multiple files and it seems Paint Express just doesn't read the alpha channel.
    – imsky
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 19:54
  • Sorry, misread.
    – e100
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 10:46

Pixelformer support BMP with alpha channel (with premultiply).

You can also use Photoshop but it's harder & you must set the alpha channel manually (draw alpha channel to black/255 manually).

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