design is an intimidating subject for many Internet
entrepreneurs. However, most of us must learn some basic design
techniques in order to avoid the high costs of hiring a
order to create or edit your graphics, you'll need to
in a good graphics program. The most popular program used by
Internet marketers is Paint Shop Pro. This powerful program is
the only program you'll need to design professional looking
graphics. You can download a free 30- day trial and register the
software for only $99. http://www.jasc.com/
most popular image formats used on the Internet are
Interchange Format, better known as GIF, uses a maximum
of 256 colors and is best suited for images such as logos,
buttons and bullets.
images can be saved in two different formats:
- 87 - 89a
89a format is the preferred GIF format, as it has the
saved in the 89a GIF format can have a transparent
background. This will enable the canvas of an image to be
transparent and enable the background to show through.
saved in the 89a GIF format can be saved as interlaced.
This will enable your image to display as it is being loaded
into a web page. The image will gradually become clearer as the
saved in the 89a GIF format can be used to create
animated images. Animated images are simply several GIF images
compiled into one GIF image file that loops. In order to create
an animated image, you'll need a special editing program.
Photographic Expert Group, better known as JPEG, is
best format for photographs. JPEG images can contain millions of
colors and allow you to specify the degree of compression.
there are many graphics programs available on the
Internet, this tutorial will focus on using Paint Shop Pro 7.01.
If you are using a different version of Paint Shop Pro or
another graphics program, the graphic tools mentioned below will
not be located in the same places.
working with images in Paint Shop Pro, you will have
ability to save your image in PSP format. This format will
enable you to begin working on an image, save it in PSP format
and finish the image at a later time. It will preserve all of
your work without any changes.
you would like to edit an image that has been previously
saved in the GIF format, you must first increase the image's
colors to 16 million. If you don't, your colors will be limited.
Go to "Colors" - "Increase Color Depth"- "16 million colors (24
bit)" to increase your image's colors.
you'd like to resize an image in JPEG format, you can
in one of two ways -- through your graphics program or within
your HTML. You can resize your image within your HTML by
changing the HEIGHT and WIDTH values. To retain your images
original characteristics, make sure you adjust the height and
the width equally. In other words, if your original image
dimensions are 50x100 (width 50 and height 100), to reduce your
image to one half the size, change the width to 25 and the
height to 50. Although you can use this method, it's not
recommended, as it will make your file size larger than
you'd like to resize an image in JPEG or GIF format,
"Image" - "Resize" and select "Percentage of original." Type in
your selection in the first box and click on "OK." There's no
need to fill in the second box, as it will be filled in
automatically. For example. If you would like to reduce your
image to half the size it is now, type in 50. This number is
telling the program that you'd like to reduce the image's size
you would like to increase your image's size, type in
number over 100. Your original image is considered to be 100%.
If you would like to increase your image's size by 50%, type 150
in the first box.
you'd like to rotate an image, go to "Image"
- "Rotate" and
select your preferences.
rotating an image, it may lose some of its clarity (become
blurry). You can correct this problem by sharpening your image.
Go to "Effects" - "Sharpen" -"Sharpen." If after sharpening your
image it still appears a little blurry, simply sharpen it again.
Working With Text
you would like to use text within your image, your first
will be to select your text color. The "Styles" boxes are
located on the right hand side of your screen. The top box
should be set to Null (off) and the bottom box should be set to
Solid, which will look like a paintbrush. To change the style of
each box, click on the black arrow and make your selection.
change the text color, click in the center of the bottom
and select your preferred color. Your text will be displayed in
the color within the bottom box.
you would like to outline your text in a different color,
click on the black arrow of the top box and select the
paintbrush. Your text will be displayed in the color your bottom
box contains and outlined in the color your top box contains.
you've selected your text color, click on the text tool
the left-hand side of your screen. It looks like a capital A.
This will launch your text window. Select your font and text
size from the drop down menu and type in your text. Make sure
you select "Antialias" and "Floating" then click "OK."
will smooth out all of the rough edges of your text
and blend it in with your background color. You will use the
Antialias setting with various graphic tools when designing your
graphics, so it is important to remember its function.
will now see your text with, what looks like, marching
around it. If you'd like to move your text, click and hold your
left mouse button directly over your text to drag it to your
desired position. Try to center it as well as possible, but
don't deselect it.
you would like to rotate your text, now is the time
to do it.
Simply follow the same instructions (above) used to rotate an
you make a change to your image and you're not satisfied
the outcome, you can undo your last change by going to "Edit" -
"Undo." It will only undo the last thing you did.
Adding a Drop Shadow
next step will be to add a drop shadow effect. With
text still selected, go to "Effects" - "3D Effects" - "Drop
Shadow." Your selected text will be displayed in the window. Try
different settings until you achieve the effect you'd like.
Click on OK. When you're satisfied with your text, right click
on your mouse to set it.
that you have a basic understanding of graphics, take
time to learn some additional techniques. There are many free
tutorials available on the Internet. Not only will it assist you
in creating professional looking images, but it will also save
you a great deal of money.
Copyright © Shelley Lowery 2002.
This article was adapted from the highly acclaimed ebook series,
Web Design Mastery. Web Design expert and author Shelley
Lowery's latest ebook is an in-depth guide to professional web
design that is rapidly becoming known as the "Bible" for
professional web design. http://www.webdesignmastery.com
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