Re: Which image format

Subject: Re: Which image format
From: "T. Word Smith" <techwordsmith -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 14:21:11 -0800 (PST)

Pixels are pixels are pixels. TIFF pixels and PNG
pixels and GIF pixels are the same. It's not like
there's a Honda pixel that's more reliable, a Ferrari
pixel that's more flashy, a Land Rover pixel that goes
everywhere, and a Hyundai pixel that's inexpensive and
less reliable.

File formats affect several things. JPEGs are lossy,
data gets harmed to help file size; this works well
for photos but not for screen captures. GIF is limited
to 8-bit (256) colors. PNG and BMP are limited to RGB
colors TIFFs will do CMYK. Some formats do
transparency, too. Monitors don't display CMYK.

Images on-screen are in pixels. There's no point in
trying to make that a vector somehow for a printed

Vectors are for things like, line art, drawings, CAD
work; use vectors for this stuff when you have print
in mind.

So, about PNG and GIF. PNG supports more colors and
tends to have smaller file size. It's pixels aren't

What do you mean by professionally printed? Off what?
What linescreen? How many colors? Etc.

My output goes online and to hard-copy books printed
from 133 and 150 lpi presses in one color (black). I
use BMP for screen grabs and EPS for vectors in my
source files (WMF stinks and EMF is only slightly
better). I have occasionally thought about using PNGs
instead of BMPs, but I haven't. Both formats got to
PDF for press very well and both convert nicely to
Web-ready formats for my Web output.

Read Screen Captures 102 from cover to cover:

--- cchris -at- toptechwriter -dot- us wrote:
> > For those of you who have actual printed manuals
> that you have
> > professionally printed, which image format do you
> use for your screen
> > captures. I was using GIF, but my boss thinks
> they will look crappy in
> > a printed manual, so he wants them all to be in
> png or vector art
> > format.


"Money makes the world go 'round is an incomplete statement; money is the fuel, and stupidity is the short bus that burns it." (Bill Swallow-02/04)

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