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Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Jennifer Niederst Robbins

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Creating PNG Files

The good news is that there are quite a few tools out there for both PCs and Macs that can save files in PNG format. The bad news is that not many support special features such as alpha channel transparency or gamma correction. Furthermore, some programs that create PNG files do not compress them as well as they could (including Adobe Photoshop 4.0 and PaintShop Pro).

Table 21-2 lists PNG feature support in a number of popular graphics tools. For a more comprehensive list of image editing tools and graphics file converters that support PNG compression (as well as their known bugs), see http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/pngaped.html.

Table 21-2. Graphics applications that support PNG format

Application

Alpha-channelTransparency

Binary 8-bit Transparency

Multilevel 8-bit Transparency

Gamma Correction

Adobe Photoshop 5.5/ImageReady 2

Yes

Yes

Adobe Photoshop 4.0/5.0

Yes

JASC PaintShopPro 4 and higher[a]

partial

Yes

JASC PaintShopPro 3 [a]

Yes

Macromedia Fireworks 4.0[b]

Yes

Yes

Yes

Macromedia Freehand 8 and higher

Yes

Macromedia Freehand 7

Yes[c]

Adobe Illustrator 7.0 and higher

CorelDRAW 7 and higher

read-only

The GIMP

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

[a] PaintShop Pro 3 reportedly creates unnecessarily large palette files. This is fixed in Versions 4.0 and later.

[b] PNG is the native file format for Macromedia Fireworks and is supported in all versions.

[c] Freehand 7 preserves ...

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