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Transparent Icons & Cursors


Question:
Many cutout type icons and cursors with transparent backgrounds do not appear transparent on some desktops. Why is that?


Answer:
Windows NT based systems have a problem rendering "True Color" settings in transparent icons and cursors. The transparency will appear "inverse" instead of transparent. To resolve this, simply convert the true color pallet to a 256 color pallet in each of the transparent icons and cursors. Windows NT has no problem with 256 color settings.

In addition, you might note that 256 color animated cursors work a lot more smoothly on any operating system. There's very minimal loss of quality in 256 color icons, cursors and animated cursors if the artist creates them in True Color mode and then converts the pallet to 256 colors within the icon/cursor program.

Tip:
One last tip is to never adjust the speed of an animated cursor below "2". If the speed of an animated cursor is set to a maximum speed of "1", it will cause many systems to crash on the extra system resources used by the animation settings. This seems to depend on many factors, like the version of DirectX, the speed of the CPU, and the type of graphics card/mouse drivers. Needless to say, keeping the petal to the metal really does cause a crash in more than one case. If animated cursor artists just ease of a bit, everything will be good to go...

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