When working with a grayscale picture in QuarkXPress, you may want to place it over a background. The problem is that the background of a grayscale picture is white. To make it transparent, the easiest thing is to convert it to Bitmap mode in Photoshop.
First, make a copy of the picture. Then in Photoshop, choose Image> Mode> Bitmap. In the resulting dialog box, give it a high resolution, such as 1200 ppi, and choose Diffusion Dither for the Method. Save the file in PSD format (or in TIFF format with LZW compression if your output service doesn’t complain about LZW). When placed into your page layout, on top of a background, it should look great.
(Of course, you can use more complex techniques in Photoshop to create a transparent grayscale image, but the above technique is fast and easy.)
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.