Photoshop (and InDesign) add black background to all transparent TIFF or PNG files

Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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I'm using Photoshop v 23.4.2 (and InDesign 17.3) on an Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max running macOS Monterey v 12.5. The problem I'm running into is Photoshop will add a black background when opening transparent PNG and layered TIFF files.

 

These are all files I created myself, so I know they're supposed to be transparent or have multiple working layers. I just recently swtiched from PC to Mac; the older files were originally created by myself on a PC. What's frustrating is that Apple's OS and other apps like Chrome and Microsoft Office will recognize the transparent nature of these files, but Photoshop and InDesign won't. Is there something important I'm missing here?

 

I've already tried turning off the GPU and uninstalling/re-installing earlier versions of the software. I can't tell at this point if it's all transparent files I created on the PC originally, but it seems like it. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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Community Expert , Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

Each of the 3 tifs you posted has an Alpha Channel, so you can get the transparency by Cmd clicking on the Alpha Channel thumbnail in the Channels panel to load a selection of the object, then in the Latyers Panel click on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers panel.

 

I also tried the same tiffs on a windows system and results were the same in that each tif had an alpha channel and opened with a black background.

 

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.14.53 PM.pngScreen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.15.20 PM.png

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Can you post an example file for us to try?

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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I'm not seeing an option to add files to the post. Is it okay to post a Dropbox link to one of the original problem files? 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Yes that would be fine.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Thanks for taking the time to look at these. I'm sure it's something simple, but it's caused a lot of trouble for me today in particular. Here are three example files.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Each of the 3 tifs you posted has an Alpha Channel, so you can get the transparency by Cmd clicking on the Alpha Channel thumbnail in the Channels panel to load a selection of the object, then in the Latyers Panel click on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers panel.

 

I also tried the same tiffs on a windows system and results were the same in that each tif had an alpha channel and opened with a black background.

 

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.14.53 PM.pngScreen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.15.20 PM.png

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Huh! Thank you, Jeff. I've never purposefully messed with alpha channels before (that I know of), but at least I know now that this is a "me" problem, and not a PS problem. I appreciate your help.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Hi @Marci Ball, I'm not sure what is causing the issue, and @Jeff Arola may know more (M1 conflict?). But the transparency is in the file. I opened one of your images using Paint 3D and turned on Transparent canvas. I saved as a PNG, and it opened correctly in Photoshop (Windows 10). Saving the PNG as a TIF with transparency also works.

 

JainLemos_0-1659652057422.pngJainLemos_1-1659652102208.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Wow, that's great, Jeff. I saw the Alpha channel there and tried turning it off and on, but I didn't know about the Cmd click!

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Thanks for taking a look for me, @J E L! Jeff was very helpful in pointing out that "hidden" alpha channel. I now know what to look out for when I come across the issue again.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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Photoshop uses a hidden Transparency channel to store the transparency info in tiffs, pngs and most other

file formats, however, some other software saves transparency in files as an Alpha

channel, so if you used software other than  photoshop 6 tru 2022, then that could explain

why there is an Alpha channel

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2022 Aug 04, 2022

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@Jeff Arola wins chicken dinner!! I know you can purposely create an Alpha channel, but I wonder why your files had one created automatically without you making one, @Marci Ball? Did you use Layer > Layer Mask > From Transparency?

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