I am trying to save an animated GIF, but for some reason areas that are more transparent than others (e.g. the grey shadow) don't come out with opacity, they become fully grey when saved.

enter image description here

When I save it, it turns out like this:

enter image description here

These are my settings when trying to save:

enter image description here

6 Answers 6


It's not possible. The GIF format doesn't support alpha transparency. Every pixel either needs to be completely transparent or not, no in betweens, and there's no way around it.

If you know what background color your GIF will be on you can set the "Matte" in the Save for Web dialog to that color, which will give you a better result, but that'll only work well if it's being placed on a relatively uniform background.

It's also worth noting that you're viewing the "Original" tab on the Save for Web dialog; that is just showing you your original PSD artwork. Switch to the "Optimized" tab and it will preview the final output based on the settings you have.

Some related posts:

Also some relevant info here:

  • Ahh thank you, such a newbie question - makes sense now
    – BCLtd
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 19:12

Animated GIF with (partial) transparency? No.

But I can do you one better anyhow: Animated PNG

So here's how to do it...

  • Save your PS animation out as a PNG sequence by going to File > Export > Render Video

  • Choose export folder, then select 'Photoshop Image Sequence'

Render settings

Make sure to enable the alpha channel as well. You'll want 'Straight - Unmatted'.

So now that you have your image sequence – here are some of your options for assembling them into an APNG:

As for support – Chromium (and therefore other Chromium based browsers such as Vivaldi and Google Chrome), Firefox, Opera and Safari browsers all now support APNGs:

APNG browser support

The only major browsers lagging behind are (as usual) Internet Explorer and Edge... As we've seen – the world does not wait for Microsoft.

Now we'll see this format take off for sure and here's why:

Here is an example I made with (full and partial) transparency – first saved out as an animated GIF and lastly as an animated PNG:

PS animated GIF


Just a wee bit of a quality difference eh? And the animated GIF is 66kb while the animated PNG is only 45kb...

No contest... game over.

  • 2
    @BCLtd No problem. Glad to help... I've been waiting for this moment to come for right around 10 years now. APNG as an extension of PNG was actually officially rejected by the PNG people (by a narrow vote of 10 nays to 8 yeas) back in 2007! But, as the old saying goes; the cream always rises to the top.
    – BANG
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 18:31

GIFs don't support transparency in the sense that other formats (PNG, TIF, etc.) do.

The GIF format does support transparency, but pixels are either filled or transparent, there is no in between.


This has nothing to do with Photoshop. It's a limitation of the file format.

The GIF format doesn't support semi-transparency. There is only one level of transparency in GIF images - i.e fully transparent.

However, there might be a solution. The APNG format (Animated PNG) does support multiple levels of transparency - however, not all browsers support the format, and neither does Photoshop, unfortunately. So probably not much use.

  • See my answer... Photoshop will come around I'm sure
    – BANG
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 0:00

save for web. gif. make sure to choose diffusion transparency dither.

  • for PS of course Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 2:31
  • 1
    Hi Russel, could you edit your question and elaborate on what steps are to be followed exactly and how this would solve the questioners problem?
    – PieBie
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 10:29

Gif's do not support transparent effect. So acc to my suggestion you can delete those grey area , It looks better after this. Thanks.

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