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Chapter 10. Preparing Images for the Web > Adjusting Optimization Settings

Adjusting Optimization Settings

You’re not limited to using predefined settings to optimize your images. You can fine-tune these settings further by using the collection of pop-up menus, check boxes, and sliders available in the Settings portion of the dialog box. For example, if you want your JPEGs to retain a little more image quality as they’re compressed for the Web, you can change the default quality setting for a Medium JPEG image from 30 to 45, and, depending on the image, improve its sharpness and detail without increasing its download time. As you make adjustments, refer to the optimized image preview to the left of the Settings column. There, you can see how your changes affect the image, as well as its file size and download time.

To apply custom JPEG optimization settings to an image:

Open the image you want to optimize, then choose File > Save for Web to open the Save for Web dialog box.

From the main Settings pop-up menu, choose one of the predefined JPEG settings (Figure 10.11).

Figure 10.11. If you like, you can choose one of the predefined JPEG settings to use as a baseline for your own custom settings.

You don’t have to choose one of the predefined JPEG settings, but they can serve as a good jumping-off point for building your own settings For instance, if you decide that small file size and quick download time are priorities, you might want to start with the predefined JPEG Low setting and then customize the settings from there.

Verify that JPEG is selected from the Optimized file format pop-up menu, or if you’ve decided to skip step 1, choose JPEG from the Optimized pop-up menu (Figure 10.12).

Figure 10.12. Optimization formats can be changed at any time from the pop-up menu.

To set the image quality, do one of the following:

  • From the Compression quality pop-up menu, choose a quality option (Figure 10.13).

    Figure 10.13. You can choose from four basic quality options for JPEG images: Low, Medium, High, and Maximum.

  • Drag the Quality slider while referring to the optimized preview (Figure 10.14).

    Figure 10.14. Once a quality option has been selected, use the slider control to fine-tune it.

The Quality slider has a direct impact on the Quality pop-up menu, and vice-versa. When the slider is set between 0 and 29, the level in the Quality pop-up menu will be Low. A setting of 30 through 59 registers as Medium, 60 through 79 as High, and 80 through 100 as Maximum. Just remember that a quality setting in the Maximum range will usually create a file six to eight times larger than one saved in the Low range.

Select the Progressive check box if you want your image to build from a low-resolution version to its final saved version as it downloads in a Web browser (Figure 10.15).

Figure 10.15. The Progressive feature draws your image incrementally on a Web page as it downloads, eventually displaying the image in its final state.

This option is more critical for large, high-quality images with download times in the tens of seconds. Rather than leaving a blank space, the low-resolution image appears almost immediately, giving your Web page visitors something to look at until the complete file is downloaded.

Select the ICC Profile check box if you’ve previously saved a color profile with your image and want that information preserved in your optimized image.

Unless your photo or art contains some critical color (a logo with a very specific corporate color, for instance), you should leave this box unchecked. Not all Web browsers support color profiles, and the inclusion of the profile information can increase a file’s size significantly.

If it’s not already selected, select the Optimized check box (Figure 10.16).

Figure 10.16. Check the Optimized box to reduce the file size of your image just a hair more.

This is the default selection for all of the predefined JPEG settings and helps to trim just a little more off the file size with little or no sacrifice of image quality.

Note that if you selected the Progressive option (in step 4), Optimized is dimmed and unavailable. You’ll need to uncheck Progressive if you want to take advantage of the Optimized option.

If your original image contains transparency, see “Making a Web Image Transparent” later in this chapter.

Click the OK button in the Save for Web dialog box to rename and save your optimized image.



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