Solution

Open a Photoshop document that contains transparent areas. You'll see that Photoshop marks the transparent areas with a gray, checkered pattern.

Document with background layer turned off

Select File > Save For Web..., or press Shift-Alt-Ctrl-S (Shift-Option-Command-S on a Mac). In the dialog box that appears, choose GIF and check the Transparency option, as shown in the image to the right. While both GIFs and PNGs support transparency, some browsers (including Internet Explorer 6) do not support PNG transparency. For this reason, I'd recommend that you use GIFs to meet your transparent image needs.

Click Save and name your file.

Saving as a transparent GIF

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