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11. Graphics and Multimedia > 99. Image Conversion in a Pinch

Image Conversion in a Pinch

When you need to convert images from one format to another or shrink the size of existing images, try these two graphics tools.

I frequently have to convert graphics from one format to another. For example, I might need to convert a high-quality, very large bitmap TIFF file to a much smaller GIF or JPEG for posting to the Web. Sometimes, I need to shrink the size of a file, while keeping the same format—for example, when sending a picture via email to relatives or friends. When I’m creating my own icons [Hack #19] , I need to convert graphics to the .ico format. Also, I sometimes work with an artist who needs a file in a particular format.

XP’s built-in Paint program can’t really do the trick. It can convert only a handful of graphics formats (for example, it can’t handle .pcx or .ico format), and it won’t let you customize the graphic; for example, you can’t alter the compression of .jpg files to make them smaller. Also, it can’t do batch conversions; to convert a file you have to open it and then save it in a different format.


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