For a step by step tutorial

  Forum Editor 00:38 27 Dec 2004

in how to optimise images for the web
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You will also do well to remember something that often isn't mentioned in tutorials, and that is to choose the right file format. Many people simply save all their images as JPEGs without a second thought, and completely ignore the fact that for images consisting of clean, simple lines and blocks of plain colour (like many logos and button images) GIFs are a better option in terms of file size. The other big advantage with GIFs is that you can include transparent areas, so the image can be overlapped, allowing another image - or parts of another image - to show. You can't do that with JPEGs. JPEGS are the format of choice for detailed photographic images.

There's a third image file type, called PNG which attempts to combine the virtues of both JPEG and GIF images into one format. With PNG files you can use what's called Alpha transparency, which put simply is a way of graduating the transparency level of an image.

By far the best way to learn about image optimisation is to read a couple of good tutorials and then experiment for yourself. Watch the way that varying degrees of compression affect JPEG images. and play around with GIFs and PNG files to see which works best for your purpose. Most reasonably specified image manipulation applications will allow you to work with images in all kinds of ways, but be guided by one of the golden rules of web design - keep the files as small as you can whilst maintaining a reasonably crisp image. The key, as Taran has already pointed out, is not to get images sizes right by resizing them inside your web design software (FrontPage in your case) - don't be tempted to drag the image to your required dimensions in other words. Create the file in the required size with your image editing program and then import it to your FrontPage web. That way a visitor's browser will read and load the file far faster.

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