This is really not very important, but it bugs me.

It seems impossible to get a profile picture with a transparent part. Even if I upload a picture with an alpha channel, the system seems to remove it. Note the (undesired) white background: enter image description here

Am I doing something wrong here (aside from being too narcissistic, perhaps)? Do you know a way of having a profile picture with an alpha channel?

EDIT: I've since found this informative question on Meta Stack Overflow: Profile picture cannot have transparent background.

  • 1
    If I'm not mistaken (I usually am), our avatars are managed by Gravatar.com and currently neither alpha .png's nor even animated .gif's are supported. :) Mar 25 '13 at 15:01
  • 1
    @PauloCereda No, since two months you are not forced anymore to use Gravatar.com: Announcing a new way to change your profile picture. (Yes, I know, it’s also linked in the Meta.SO question inserted above by jubob’s edit.)
    – Speravir
    Mar 25 '13 at 15:56
  • @Speravir: ah thanks, I was unaware of that new feature. :) Mar 25 '13 at 16:06
  • I think N.N.’s picture has nothing but transparency in it?
    – doncherry
    Mar 25 '13 at 18:18


It seems that the Imgur system, which is now used for the "Uploaded picture" option in your profile page (see this link), does not support .png with an alpha channel. Every time I've tried to upload one, it was rendered with a white background on TeX.SE:

enter image description here

I was misled by this 2008 discussion about Gravatar's discontinued support for .png with an alpha channel. It turns out that they do support it, nowadays.

enter image description here

So, if you want a profile picture with an alpha channel, you need to use Gravatar (which is a bit of a pain). The procedure is detailed in this meta.stackoverflow post.

  • I need more than alpha. I need GIF. :-) Mar 25 '13 at 19:45
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    @Karl'sstudents No luck on this front, I'm afraid. GIF animations would be too distracting, though.
    – jub0bs
    Mar 27 '13 at 14:58
  • 1
    Yes, it's narcissism but I congratulate you on solving the problem! Apr 25 '13 at 10:22

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