On Tuesday 09 June 2009 18:56:04 Theo M wrote:
> was under the impression that the I could delete
> to transparency, and despite my best efforts I
> could not get it work.

If you imported the image or layer from a JPeG (.jpg)
file, it will not have an alpha property for that layer.

Use menu: Layer / Transparency / Add alpha channel

Delete will then (by default) make the deleted section
transparent.

When you save back to a JPeG, GIMP will paint the
background (of the saved image only) white.

Save into an XCF file to retain all of the layers,
transparency, etc.

Cheers; Leon
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