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Web Design in a Nutshell by Jennifer Niederst

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Survey of Web Graphics Tools

Each of the tools in this section (with the exception of the WebScrubber plug-in filter) are multifaceted programs with lots of nifty features. The following descriptions focus on how each tool handles the Web Palette. By no means are they intended as reviews of each tool’s full capabilities.

Adobe Photoshop (4.0 and 5.0)

Adobe Photoshop has grown to be the de facto standard for creating web graphics. Although all the basic functionality for creating web-safe GIF and PNG files is included, it wasn’t until plug-in utilities and full-scale tools created specifically for web graphics arrived that it became obvious how limited Photoshop is for creating web-appropriate graphics.

To save a graphic with the Web palette, simply select Image Mode Indexed Color and flatten the layers. Select Web from the menu of palette choices. At this point, you can decide whether you want the image to dither (Diffusion) or not (None). When you are finished, you can either Save As or Export to GIF format.

Reducing color depth

When you choose the Web Palette, the Color Table is filled with 216 colors, regardless of whether they are used in the image. Unfortunately, there is no way to reduce color depth in Photoshop once a specific palette has been applied. The only way to reduce the number of web colors involves three steps:

  1. Convert to Indexed Color using the Web Palette option.

  2. Revert back to RGB color mode by selecting Image Mode RGB.

  3. Immediately change the image ...

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