Problem: An exported map has a gray background instead of being transparent
When exporting a map as a JPEG, BMP, or TIFF file format with the Background Color field in the Export Map dialog box specified to No Color, the output map yields a solid color background, such as gray, instead of transparent.
This is a known limit. The JPEG, BMP, and TIFF file formats do not support the No Color pixels. As a result, when the map is exported, the No Color pixels are assigned to a default background color value set in the Windows display settings.
Solution or Workaround
The following workaround shows how to to obtain a transparent background when exported from ArcMap:
- Navigate to File > Export Map. The Export Map dialog box opens.
- Define the File Name > specify the Save as type by selecting either a PNG, GIF, or EMF file format from the drop-down menu.
- Click the Format tab.
- For the PNG and GIF file formats, select any same color combination for both the Background Color and Transparent Color fields, except for the No Color - No Color combination. For the EMF file format, there is no Background Color setting to be specified.
- Click Save to export.
The following output is the an example of an ArcMap document exported as a PNG file format with the White - White combination. Exporting in a PNG or GIF file format with any same color combination for both the Background Color and Transparent Color fields (except for the No Color - No Color combination) yield the same output. The EMF file format also yields the same output. The exported map below is compared against a green-colored background to portray the transparent quality of the exported map.
Warning: For the PNG and GIF file formats, setting the No Color - No Color combination for both the Background Color and Transparent Color fields yield an exported map with a solid color background, such as gray. The same output is obtained if users export the map in the JPEG, BMP, and TIFF file formats with the Background Color field set to No Color.
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Last Published: 5/21/2018
Article ID: 000008725
Software: ArcGIS-ArcEditor 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 10 ArcGIS-ArcInfo 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 10 ArcGIS-ArcView 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 10 ArcMap 10.6.1, 10.6