Many thanks, nicu.  I have the gimp installed and looks good with that. 
Adam in Oz
-------Original Message-------
Date: 08/13/04 16:24:44
Subject: Re: [Inkscape-user] Re: Preserving transparency
Adam Pearson wrote:
>  George, Bryce
> The original problem was that when I converted a png file to a gif or
> jpg (so as to keep the file size small), then areas that were
> transparent and showing detail below were going opaque and not showing
> that underlying detail.  Images were therefore losing their purpose.
> (This may just have been a bad day for me at the computer!  No, it
> wasn't - I have just tried Fireworks and Photoshop and they won't read
> the Inkscape transparency of a png file correctly for me.)
> As you say, the real solution is to concentrate on compression of the
> png files - how is it best to do that?  I am on Windows XP Home
> edition.  I have tried something called Irfanview and it does not read
> the png file correctly - loses transparency.
use Gimp for bitmap editing, it has a Windows version -
i had no problem with PNG files exported from Inkscape in Gimp.
also, please note that JPEG as a file format does not support transparency