RE: Format of graphics in Word documents

Subject: RE: Format of graphics in Word documents
From: Will Husa <will -dot- husa -at- 4techwriter -dot- com>
To: <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <word-pc -at- listserv -dot- liv -dot- ac -dot- uk>
To: <daviddowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2008 19:03:54 -0400

I have to take issue with your response. I've seen the results of printing a PDF of a Word document with embedded GIF images. It's not pretty. TheÂprinted GIF's barely resemble the integrity of the original GIF's.
That's why I use embedded BMP images in any Word document that will be converted to PDF. In the world of pixels, I use PNG.

Will Husa
> Technical Writer of User Friendly Procedure Manuals and HTML Help <
> Increasing Profits through Clear Communication <
Phone: 708.927.3569
Fax: 630.668.9283
====================================ÂWill Husa wrote (in part):Â
> Word uses its own compression system when it saves a document.
> I don't remember what the ratio is, but it's significant. GIF files are
> compressed files already, so inserting a GIF file in a Word document
> means that you are compressing the graphic image twice when Word
> saves the document.
> The issue is compounded when you convert the Word document to
> PDF. PDF compresses the Word document again, so now that graphic
> image will be compressed 3 times when you're done.
> If you have wondered why your graphic images look bad in a PDF file,
> that's why.

Sorry, but this is simply incorrect. In all cases, the compression that is
used is *data* compression rather than image compression. GIF, for
example, uses the LZW data compression algorithm (this was the basis
of the patent/licensing issue between Unisys and CompuServe that
caused so many people to avoid the GIF format back in the '90s),
which is completely lossless. You are apparently confusing lossless
data compression with the kind of lossy image compression that is
used in the JPEG format.
As to image quality in PDF, that primarily relates to on-screen display
where the pixel pitch of the original image doesn't match the pixel
pitch on the displaying monitor at a given zoom percentage. If the
number of pixels in the original image differs from the number of pixels
needed to display the image at the current zoom factor, the pixels
need to be resampled, and that process is generally veryÂlossy. When
you print the PDF, the image pixels are mapped to a much higher
number of printer dots, and the image is rendered with all its original
quality intact.
-Fred RidderÂÂ

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