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Chapter 6. Bitmaps > Using PNGs

Using PNGs

PNG, or Portable Network Graphic, is a relatively new graphics standard that offers numerous advantages over GIFs—especially in compression, color capabilities, and transparency.

Like GIFs, PNGs use a lossless compression algorithm. This means that a PNG file is compressed at the time it is created so that when viewed there appears to be no quality degradation from the original. Thus, you can bring or create a 1-MB bitmap in your favorite image-editing program, export it as a PNG, and end up with a file that is every bit as clear and beautiful as the original—but at a fraction of its size. In fact, PNG compression typically surpasses GIF compression by 5 percent to 25 percent (though on tiny images, that number often rises to 40 percent or 50 percent). Many programs on the market today can export to the PNG format, including Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Fireworks, and Corel Photo-Paint.


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