Hiding Secret Images

If you’re using Internet Explorer for Windows, try loading this image and typing Ctrl-A to highlight it. Is it magic? Or EEE-VIL?! (An explanation of the trick follows.)

How to create your own super-secret images with Photoshop… Create a 2×2 pixel checkerboard pattern with the pencil tool, select the four pixels and select “Define Pattern” from the Edit menu. Now select your foreground layer and select the whole image. Hit “Q” to go into Quick Mask mode, and select “Fill” from the Edit menu. Select “Pattern” from the Use dropdown, set Blending to 100% and click OK to fill the mask with our checkerboard. Hit “Q” to go back to Standard Mode and hit Delete to remove every other pixel from the foreground image. Now adjust the opacity of the background layer until it fades from sight. Save your image as a high-quality JPEG, and you’re done.

(Thanks for the trick, bakabon38!)


    Since midnight, the Bush/Saddam image has been downloaded over 33,650 times, almost entirely by Japanese web surfers. I never knew that weblogs were so big in Japan.

    Ooh, be careful – a terrorist might see this technique and use it as a new way of transmitting their deviously evil plans, instead of hiding them in porn images like they used to.

    I made a little program that makes “hiding secret images” on Windows. You can get the program from my Japanese web cite(http://hirax.net/dekirukana7/ctrl_a/CtrlAmagic.zip).

    If you have two Bitmap files, all you have to do are

    (1) loading 1st image from “Load Visible Image” button,

    (2) loading 2nd image from “Load Hiden Image” button,

    (3) ajdusting image by “Hiden Image Average Value” and “Hiden Image Contrast Value”,

    (4) and save final image by “Save To File”.

    I tried it out, and it wouldnt work for me for some reason. Do you think you could email me a PSD of it, and then I can just replace the images? Thanks

    I couldn’t get it to work either but my Blonde kicked in and I clicked on the pic.and a little square on the bottom right hand came up..click on the sqaure and voila…formidable!

    Hey, Mac users who obviously couldn’t see the trick: If you have Dreamweaver, insert the image into a new web page and then select it.

    That CTRL + A magic thing won’t work. It doesn’t have any choices for the file type when you save the final thing, and I can’t figure out how to do it in Photoshop, either.

    Can someone e-mail me on how to get the 2X2 pixel checkerboard happening on Photoshop? Tried for a while and still can’t find how.

    For some reason the images fail to show up properly on a WinXP machine with MSIE. It works fine on my home XP box with MSIE =

    I cant figure out how to use that program. Is there a better program out there, where you just add both images and it does it automatically for you?

    >> Can this be done in The Gimp I wonder?

    Yes, this can be done in the GIMP. It is even easier than in Photoshop, thanks to the checkerboard plug-in. The steps are: load your two images in two layers, add a mask to the top layer (right-click on the layer, then “Add Layer Mask”), then run the checkerboard plug-in (Filters->Render->Pattern->Checkerboard), set the size to 1 (default is 10) and there you go! Then you can play with the opacity and other parameters.

    Simple. The trick works because Internet Explorer shades selected images by darkening every other pixel… Mozilla shades it by darkening every pixel of the image, so the trick fails.

    So basicly Mozilla shades it properly and I.E. cheats, but let’s us have fun with a little trick. Nice one.


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