Does a PNG File Have a Clear Background?

By Jaime Published March 27, 2023

Does a PNG File Have a Clear Background?
Does a PNG File Have a Clear Background?

Inside This Article

If you are new to graphic or web designing, you're probably wondering about the difference between various image formats. You might ask, "Does a PNG image file have a clear background?"

If you need to know the answer to this question, read this article as we discuss the key aspects of PNG file format and how it affects its transparency.

So, let's dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • The alpha channel, which stores information about the transparency of every background pixel, determines how transparent the PNG images are.
  • You need an image editor that supports transparency to create PNG images with transparent backgrounds, like Adobe Photoshop.
  • It's best to use PNG images if you need transparency in your image and a high level of crispness and detail, making them perfect for icons and logos that need transparent PNG backgrounds.

What is PNG Format?

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is an image format used for storing and sharing digital images. PNG was created as a free and open-source alternative to the GIF format. Nowadays, PNG is one of the most popular file formats that people use aside from JPEG and GIF.

How Does PNG Work?

PNG files use lossless compression and combine different techniques such as filtering, prediction, and variable-length codes to achieve high compression ratios without losing image quality.

The best thing about PNG is its support for transparency. This means that PNG is ideal for storing images with a transparent image or background with sharp edges and distinct lines, such as logos or illustrations. PNG also supports a wide range of color depths and can display millions of colors.

Understanding PNG Transparency

PNG transparency means that certain parts of the image are "see-through" or "invisible," allowing the background to show through. You can easily place PNG images on top of a colored background or even on top of another image.

PNG formats achieve transparency by using an alpha channel. The alpha channel is a color component that displays the degree of a color's transparency or opacity. In a PNG image, every pixel can have an alpha channel value between 0 and 255. 0 is fully transparent, while 255 is fully opaque.

Does a PNG File Have a Transparent Background?

Yes, PNG can have a clear background. However, its background's transparency level depends on its alpha channel value.

If the alpha channel of the PNG image is set to 0, then the image will have a transparent image background.

Can You Create PNG Images with Transparent Backgrounds?

Planning to remove either its white background or colored background in your photo? You can easily create a transparent PNG file.

To create PNGs that support transparent backgrounds, you need to use an image editor that supports transparency, like Adobe Photoshop. If you don't have access to Adobe Photoshop, creating a transparent PNG image in Canva or GIMP is possible.

If you want an in-depth tutorial on How to Create a PNG Image With Transparent Background, don't miss our useful guide.

Uses of PNG Files with Transparent Backgrounds

Where can you incorporate PNG files from FastPNG? Here are some examples:

For websites

  • Photorealistic objects
  • Avatars

For layouts and social media

  • Scene elements
  • Isolated objects

For collages and art

  • Light and shadow effects and overlays
  • Textures
  • Creative materials

For general use cases

  • Flat lays
  • Overlays
  • Element Sets
  • Isolated Objects
  • Character Sets
  • Backgrounds
  • Letter Sets
  • Banners
  • Infographics
  • Photo sets
  • Mockups

How is PNG Different From JPEG and GIF?

Aside from PNG image format, you may also come across various image file types accessible nowadays. JPEG and GIF are two of the most common image formats in your graphic designs.

But how are JPEG and GIF different from PNG? Here's a brief comparison between them:


JPEG is another popular image format used on the web that makes viewing photographs or images with many colors vibrant and easy.

Compared to PNG images, they have smaller file sizes but cannot display transparent backgrounds, and they don’t support transparency.

If you're looking for an efficient way to store high-resolution photos online, JPEG is your go-to.


GIF is another image format that supports transparency. However, the limited color palette (256 colors) of GIFs restricts their usage, making them mostly unsuitable for images with many details and colors.

PNG images, on the other hand, can support 16 million colors, which is ideal for high-quality images. Aside from that, PNG files can be compressed 10% to 30% more than GIF files.

Lastly, the most obvious difference is the GIF format supports animations, but a PNG file doesn't.


PNG images can indeed have a clear background, and they offer many advantages over other image formats. What are you waiting for? Start using PNG images now and take your graphic design to the next level!