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Chapter 16. Storing Images: Managing Files for Fast Production

Chapter 16. Storing Images: Managing Files for Fast Production

We've been barking at you for a few hundred pages that what we're really talking about is not images, but rather zeros and ones. But the zeros and ones that one program writes to disk may not be readable by another program. Why? Because the same data can be written to disk in a variety of ways, called file formats. Different file formats may be as different as two languages (like Spanish versus Chinese), or as similar as two dialects of the same language (like American versus British English).

The world would be a simpler place if everyone (and all software) spoke the same language, but that's not going to happen. Fortunately, programs such as Photoshop, QuarkXPress, and InDesign can read and sometimes even write in multiple file formats. The important thing, then, is not for us to understand exactly what makes one different from the others, but rather what each file format's strengths and weaknesses are, so that we can use them intelligently. (Wouldn't it be great if we could speak in French to our lovers, German to our bosses, and oh-so-polite Japanese to our acquaintances?)


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