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10.5: Use Preview to quickly create a transparent icon Apps
I stumbled on this tonight after using Preview's 'Instant Alpha' function to add transparency to some photos that I was using as icons. Here's how you can use this new feature to complete a completely transparent icon:
  1. Find a pure-white area in a folder, then press Shift-Command-Control-4, and drag out a square. Release the mouse when done, and the white area is now on your clipboard.
  2. Open Preview and press Command-V.
  3. Click and hold on the Select button in Preview's toolbar, and Instant Alpha from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click and drag across the white area until you see the displayed value reach 100%, then press Return.
  5. Copy the selected area (Command-C).
  6. On the desktop, select your new folder and press Command-I (File » Get Info).
  7. Press Tab once in the Get Info window to highlight the default icon.
  8. Paste the transparent icon from your clipboard into the default icon (Command-V).
Presto, you've now got a fully transparent icon. If you wish, rename your folder or file name with just spaces. You now have a totally 'invisible' item that only you know the location of, hidden in plain view (assuming, of course, you are viewing by icon. It will be more evident in List or Column view.)

You should be able to complete all these steps in less then a minute.

[robg adds: Of course, this isn't the official way to hide a file or folder; we discuss those in these hints. What's interesting to me is the use of the Instant Alpha tool to make the icon itself invisible (or alternatively, translucent if you like such effects).]
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