OK, I know, opacity and transparency are not the same thing, they are antonyms. But as stated in the description of the tag, adjusting transparency is adjusting opacity and vice versa.

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I would opt for keeping , the most well-known and used tag, and making a synonym.

What do you guys and gals think?

EDIT: I added three answers to guide the discussion and to try to reach a clear consensus.

  • 1
    Just food for thought: I'm wondering if this would cause issues in other (non-software) contexts (e.g. inks, paper...). I can't think of any off the top of my head right now but it's something that should be considered imo.
    – curious Mod
    Aug 4, 2018 at 3:58
  • Yeah, that's why my Q is more hesitant than most synonimisations I propose. There are people on GDSE who know (a lot) more about this stuff than me, so I'd like to see what the general concensus is. Worst case scenario: it stays like it is now.
    – PieBie Mod
    Aug 6, 2018 at 8:06
  • We have 18 questions with both tags.
    – Welz
    Aug 6, 2018 at 14:55

4 Answers 4



and are the same thing and should be tag synonyms. The tag with the fewest questions should be made obsolete.

  • I just removed all opacity tags, and replaced them with transparency where necessary. Could a mod go through with the synonimization? That'd be great!
    – PieBie Mod
    Aug 20, 2018 at 13:31

In vector programs this is a very common and very problematic issue: people who are not used to work in these programs confuse them easily and both offer different results.

  • Transparency makes an object more or less opaque,
  • Opacity changes the ink fill percentage but the object is always opaque.

They both have different results when they are over other objects. An object with lower opacity is always opaque, while an object with greater transparency allows to see the elements behind. In the image, at the top the Opacity Panel, at the bottom the Transparency Panel.


See this answer https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/110167/120647

Maybe the solution is changing the tags definition or add Tint Opacity, in my opinion it's more confuse.

  • 1
    Indeed, I vote for updating the definitions to make it more clear (no pun intended)
    – Luciano
    Aug 3, 2018 at 12:45
  • Is this right? i'm not trying to argue, I just don't see the difference? When I change the opacity of an object in Illustrator I can see the element behind it: imgur.com/a/2z5BGBZ
    – PieBie Mod
    Aug 3, 2018 at 13:23
  • Illustrator: define a Spot Color > Apply this color to an object > Put this object over another one > From the Color Panel, change the opacity. The same in InDesign.
    – user120647
    Aug 3, 2018 at 13:25
  • 4
    @Danielillo that "T" in the color panel means "Tint", not transparency (se e.g. helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/…). Opacity literally means "Opaqueness" so saying "Transparency makes an object more or less opaque" is exactly the same as saying "Transparency changes an object's opacity"
    – Cai
    Aug 3, 2018 at 14:55
  • Yes, in InDesign is written Tint. In Illustrator Transparency is the panel name, Opacity is the option inside the transparency panel and Tint is the ink density. The problem comes when somebody mix the three concepts in a question, we have to explain them all. In a one ink design, 30% opacity and 30% ink gives the same printing effect?
    – user120647
    Aug 3, 2018 at 15:09
  • 5
    @Danielillo You're saying "transparency" and "opacity" mean different things; they don't. Both in general English and in design/print use they refer to the exact same property (how much you can "see-through" something). A "tint" is something different and (mostly)-unrelated to either
    – Cai
    Aug 3, 2018 at 15:40
  • I agreed with your answer before the edit. I don't agree with the Tint Opacity part.
    – Luciano
    Aug 6, 2018 at 13:55


and do not mean the same thing. There is a clear added value in keeping both tags as they are.



and are similar, but there is added value in keeping both. We should rewrite the tag descriptions to make the difference more clear.

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