In the first images that appears in the slider on this page, I've applied a drop shadow in the graphic itself. However, is it possible to apply the shadow with CSS, and have it apply only to the opaque areas of the png?
When I try to apply box-shadow to it, it applies to the outside of the box, not the image outlines.
The box-shadow draws shadows on the image outlines. Even if your image has transparent areas, you still have a rectangular object.
CSS box-shadow works with the box model. What it means is that it will apply styles to the box of that element. I your case box-shadow will not do what you want it to do. You can't tell your CSS to find the alpha channel in your image and some how ignore it (at least not at this time). You would have to stick to doing it in Photoshop.
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