PNG-8 that acts like PNG-24 without Fireworks

I have been looking for a solution to turn PNG-24 with alpha transparency into a PNG-8 WITH alpha transparency for a while.  This possible with Fireworks, but I didn’t really want to install, buy or fireworks.  (It scares me).

Side question:  Why o’ Why can’t Adobe make Photoshop do this?

Ok, the instructions on the site are pretty clear, but I will repeat them just in case.

  1. In Photoshop save your files with alpha transparency as PNG-24 files.  Test in a modern browsers.
  2. Download PngQuant (Tested) or the newer version (I didn’t try this one) and put the .exe file in your c:windowssystem32 folder.  Also, there is a GUI you could use (untested) called Manfred.
  3. Put the PNG-24 files in a folder like c:png-transform
  4. Run a command prompt and type: pngquant 256 filename.png
  5. This will create new files in the same directory that are PNG-8 but act like PNG-24 in a modern browser.  These look pretty good in IE6. (See below)

Notice in the image below that the IE6 image acts like a GIF file with single transparency.  In IE7 (or other modern browser), the file is dithered and creates a smoother line.  This is critically important when using images like this in Emails!  You can’t add in IE6 PNG fixes using javascript in an email!

png-8v24

This is going to be my standard process from now on.  I am thrilled with the outcome.

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