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Illustrator: Problem with saving as GIF file : Smaller file size, Bad quality & Lost transparency

Posted on 2005-03-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2006-11-17

I am using Adobe Illustrator CS
The original file created is 400K.

When the file created is saved as a GIF file
1. It reduces the size to just 2.24K
2. The quality of the image is lost.
3. The transparency (50% opaque) of the white rectangles are also lost.

What could possibly be the solution for all of the above mentioned problems?

Please advise.

Thank you.

Question by:likhith123
  • 2
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 13566880
Hi likhith123,

The GIF format does not support semi-transparency, so you can't have a 50% opacity in it. In GIF a colour is either solid or invisible; no middle ground. A format that supports semi-transparency is PNG, but it's not well supported by IE
(transparent areas show as blueish in IE)

As per image size, are you saving the image at the appropriate size in pixels? If you're shrinking it there will always be quality loss. A link to the image would be good, that way we can see it and tell better what's happening.

Good Vibes!


Author Comment

ID: 13571279
Hi Lobo,

I have sent the files via. email to
Lobo   /(at)  /gatesof\\delirium   /(dot)  /(com)\
and some more questions which are as follows.
The file originated in Illustrator CS (880pixels X 80 pixels). In Illustrator in Document Setup I selected “Transparency” from the drop down and under the Custom Transparent Flattener Options chose vector (100): Line art and text resolution 2400ppi, gradient and mesh resolution 300ppi. When I tried to save the file in GIF format in Illustrator (save for web) the file got slightly smaller (717 x80px) as the banners dimensions did not include area that was completely transparent (space before and after lettering).  See example: librarybanner_scale.gif). To maintain my dimensions I saved the file as a pdf and opened it up in Photoshop. I made sure dimensions were again 880 x 80 pixels and then saved as a gif. The quality of final GIF (librarybannertrans_scale3 copy.gif) is not bad, but is there an easier/better way of doing this to produce a higher quality banner as a gif file??

Thank you
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Lobo042399 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13580009
Hi Likhith,

Sorry for the delay in responding. The main problem is that you're using transparency, which is only a basic thing in the GIF format. a pixel can be either transparent (invisible) or not; no middle ground (that's why the squares next to The Library become solid white). As a result, the edges of your text and other curved objects become very sharp and jagged because their background is set to transparent.

The workaround would be not to use transparency and set the background to the same colour as the webpage the banner is going to be displayed at, or choose an appropriate colour like a dark navy Blue, i.e. And if you're not gonna use transparency, you may as well save the banner in JPG format.

Good Vibes!


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