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Chapter 16. Storing Images: Managing Fil... > To Compress or Not to Compress

To Compress or Not to Compress

Over the years, we've found only a few universal truths. One of those is: “Fast, Cheap, or Good: you can have any two of the three.” Compression is certainly no exception to this rule. Compressing files can be a great way to save hard drive space (read: “save money”) and sometimes to cut down on printing times (read: “save more money”). But compressing and decompressing files also takes time (read: “lose the money that you just saved”).

Optimally, if you have way too much hard drive space and you transfer your files from place to place on DVD discs, you may never need or want to compress your images. Otherwise, you may want to use a lossless compressed file format (like LZW- or Zip-compressed TIFF) for some of your images. If you really need to save space, you might choose a lossy file format (like JPEG).


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