Re: Image formats (was: Word Figure Captions - a new question)

Subject: Re: Image formats (was: Word Figure Captions - a new question)
From: "jane" <judydh -at- total -dot- net>
To: "McClare, Scott" <smcclare -at- neptec -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 12:23:40 -0500

>Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Windows use its bitmap format
>internally, i.e. in order to display any bitmap, it will uncompress it and
>display it *as* a BMP? If so, it makes no difference what graphic format
>you insert into a document, as it'll wind up pretty much the same size
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Windows use its own internal format
>displaying bitmapped graphics? If so, it doesn't really matter whether you
>use a GIF, JPEG, BMP, or any other format Word can import - when it
>it, it all turns out the same size anyway. (Of course, if you merely
>reference the graphics, then this isn't the case.)

I don't know anything about this, but I'm curious.

>On the other hand, a high-colour format such as TIFF, PNG, or Targa uses a
>lossless compression technique that won't manifest these distortions (for
>example, a PNG image compresses to roughly the size of a comparable GIF but
>is capable of displaying true colour, as compared to the GIF's palette of
>256 colours).

One thing that got me in trouble with my images and help was my assumption
that everyone has a hunky-dory graphics card and monitor. If we provide
documents electronically, we owe it to our customers to provide the highest
quality for the lowest common quality of machine. This means 256 colour,
unless you write exclusively to graphics people. If we were printing our
manuals, I'd use EPS for high quality images. But we're not, and I've played
around a lot and found that GIF really is the smallest, cleanest and most
essential image format for our pdfs.

In my image experience:

Create with extensive layers in Photoshop.
Save A Copy: BMP.
Choose Windows 24-bit (default on my system)
Open the .bmp in Paint Shop Pro [This is also the step where screen shot
treatment begins]
Go to Colors > Decrease Color Depth > X Colors
Choose 128 (pick what number you want, but 128 seems to do the trick for me)
Reduction Method: Error Diffusion
Options: Include Windows colors; Reduce Color Bleeding.
Save As GIF.

I actually haven't had any noticable problems with transparency. I wonder

You can take that advice for as much as you paid for it!



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