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Chapter 5. Rules, Images, and Multimedia > Inserting Images in Your Documents

5.2. Inserting Images in Your Documents

One of the most compelling features of HTML and XHTML is their ability to include images with your document text, either as an intrinsic component of the document (inline images), as separate documents specially selected for download via hyperlinks, or as a background for your document. When judiciously added to the body content, images—static and animated icons, pictures, illustrations, drawings, and so on—can make your documents more attractive, inviting, and professional looking, as well as informative and easy to browse. You may also specially enable an image so that it becomes a visual map of hyperlinks. When used to excess, however, images make your document cluttered, confusing, and inaccessible, as well as unnecessarily lengthening the time it takes for users to download and view your pages.

5.2.1. Understanding Image Formats

Neither HTML nor XHTML prescribe an official format for images. However, the popular browsers specifically accommodate certain image formats: GIF and JPEG, in particular (see following sections for explanations). Most other multimedia formats require special accessory applications that each browser owner must obtain, install, and successfully operate to view the special files. So it's not too surprising that GIF and JPEG are the de facto image standards on the Web.


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