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Chapter 26. Creating Professional Web Sites > Working with Web Graphics

Working with Web Graphics

As you’ve seen up to now in the chapter, creating Web pages is much like creating standard Word documents, with a few twists here and there. So you won’t be surprised to learn that adding graphics to your Web pages is similar to adding graphics in standard Word documents. The main difference is that Web page graphics have to be stored as one of the following graphic file types so that browsers can display them:

  • GIF GIFs are the most widely supported graphics type on the Web (which means that almost all browsers—old, new, and in-between—can display GIF images). GIF images can support up to 256 colors, and they are generally used for simple logos, line art, icons, cartoonlike illustrations, buttons, horizontal rules, bullets, backgrounds, and other graphics elements that require few colors. In addition, GIFs can include transparency and can be used to create simple animations, referred to as animated GIFs. (In a nutshell, an animated GIF can be likened a stack of GIF graphics that the browser flips through, like old movie flip cards, to create the appearance of movement.)

  • JPEG (or JPG) The JPEG image file format was created by and named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group. This image format supports millions of colors (24-bit color), and JPEGs are almost universally supported by browsers. Because JPEGs can contain millions of colors, this file format is usually used to display photographic images online.

  • PNG PNG (pronounced “ping”) images are similar to GIF images. They’re small files that load quickly and are limited to 256 colors. PNG images transmit slightly faster than GIF files, but PNGs are supported only on newer browsers. At this point, if your Web pages are going to be viewed by a diverse audience using a variety of browsers, you should use GIF files instead of PNG files.


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