Re: Re[2]: Graphics Format

Subject: Re: Re[2]: Graphics Format
From: David Jones <dvjones -at- KSBE -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 08:49:01 +0000

On 19 Sep 96 at 11:44, Iain Harrison wrote:
> There are two common forms of BMP - the vanilla BMP, and the RLE encoded
> (compressed) version, which usually has a manageable file size.
On PCs, PCX works fine for me. It compresses better than RLE BMP
(not as good as LZW TIF).
> There are several forms of TIF, but with a few notable exceptions, the
> programs that handle the later versions can also cope with earlier ones.
> I've not found many current programs that can't manage a LZW compressed TIF
> file in the Windows environment.
I have. I've also met TIF files that one program could handle
while another on the same machine could not. TIF is very good for
cross-platform transfers, though.
> WMF and EPS files can (and often do) have a bitmap header in the file to
> enable placement on-screen. Sadly, quite a few programs that can't use the
> vector information simply rescale the header bitmap and print that instead.
> Some even ditch the vector information if they resave the file!
WMF files are limited to a certain size (64K, I think) and are
real system resource consumers. I've also heard that WMF was
something MS sort of threw together because Macs had a native vector
format, but they never did anything about documenting the WMF format.
(I might be wrong about that, I tend to avoid image formats that tie
me to a particular vendor's proprietary product.) Thus, some of
difficulties -- some programs will place a WMF if it has a placeable
header, while another program will place it only if it has *no*
placeable header.
I've also heard that there are problems using WMFs on systems with
different display drivers than those of the system that the WMF was
created on.
Strangely enough, I've gotten good results (for on-screen
graphics) by saving them as CLP files from the Clipboard viewer. For
all I know, they may really be WMF files in disguise -- although they
started out as bitmaps, they scale nicely when pasted into programs
that support scaling graphics.
> Generally, the WMF format is a good bet on Windows, and EPS on Macs, but
> that's not always the case on either platform. WMF can have a problem with
> curves, for example.

> Of course, for help files or web pages, neither is any good at
> all!

'Tis true. You can blame MS (champion of proprietary solutions)
regarding use of non-BMP in WinHelp files. GIF and (increasingly)
JPEG are nice standards for the web ... Anybody know of any browser
plug-ins that (might) support BMP or WMF? I would think it
something useful ...

David Jones, Technical Writer
David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- Datahub -dot- com

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