What would be the best image/icon to represent transparency?
It should be as compact as possible and fit in a 13x11 area.

I see that I should add more information.
I need this image/icon to be placed on a system button on the Windows OS:
AeroBasicXPClassic... So I'd rather have something more scalable.
One thing to note... This should be system interface, not my program's so it must be as least symbolic as possible and most straight-forward to the idea/function.

After igor's idea, here are my results:

3 Answers 3


Why not this alt text?

  • I thought about that one too (from Paint.NET), but I'd like something that represents "variable transparency".
    – Vercas
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 12:27
  • 2
    @Vercas try transparent linear gradient to any icon would you like to show variability.
    – igor
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 12:35
  • 1
    @Vercas welcome
    – igor
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 14:01
  • 1
    And now I've finished my icons. I'm adding them to the question!
    – Vercas
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 14:10
  • 1
    @Vercas awesome!
    – igor
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 14:19

maybe an empty glass alt text

  • 1
    This was totally unexpected... I think it might work but it just doesn't theme with the OS... Windows in this case.
    – Vercas
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 12:11
  • CorelDraw and CorelPhotoPaint use this, and for a variable transparency, a glass, plus a line-with-arrowhead. Worked great for them.
    – Warren P
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 17:45

I would use a gradient if it's for variable transparency.

A square from black to clear.

  • "square from black to clear" - could you explain that to me?
    – Vercas
    Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 10:45
  • A small square that is black, but has an alpha gradient from left to right. So, the alpha would be 1 on the left and 0 on the right.
    – Dexter
    Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 19:13

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