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We show that by placing a slab of semiconductor material between two photonic bandgap (PBG) mirrors, waveguide modes at frequencies out of the PBG can be obtained. These modes are similar to the modes of a conventional dielectric slab waveguide. Using these modes, we can obtain very good coupling between a PBG waveguide and a dielectric slab waveguide with similar slab properties. We discuss the properties of these slab modes and outline the guideline for the optimization of the PBG waveguides based on these properties.