Ulead SmartSaver Pro; A Tool For Putting Your Photos On The Web Page 2

With this information in mind, the question is when is it best to use each option. When displaying photos on a website, you should be able to use the 422 or even the 411 Subsampling options without creating any noticeable changes in your photo. However, if you plan on printing your photo, you're best off using the 444 option. Since printed photos can display more detail than monitors, it's important to minimize the changes that compression can make to an image.

There is an exception to the rule of using 422 or 411 on websites. If you've looked closely at web images, you've probably noticed that JPEG artifacts (also called JPEG blotches), occur very frequently. These artifacts are most likely to occur in two situations: when there is a large area of gradient color changes in an image (such as a blue sky), and when there is a sharp transition from foreground to background (such as the edge of a model's face, or dark text on a light background). In cases such as these, you can often completely remove the blotches by choosing the "None" option in SmartSaver (#3 and #4).

4. The TIFF as a JPEG, with a Quality and Chroma set to 90, and Subsampling set to None--The file size is 0.4MB, and there are no JPEG blotches.

·Soft: The soft drop-down box is used to add a blur effect to your image. Blur effects can be useful for two reasons: JPEG compresses blurred areas better than it compresses sharp areas of an image, and blurring helps to hide JPEG artifacts. Since photo editors offer much more than a single blur control to choose from, and since setting options such as Subsampling correctly will prevent JPEG artifacts, you'll seldom (if ever) need to change the Blur control from its default setting of None.

·Emphasize Area: This is another option not available in most photo editors. If you find an area of your JPEG just doesn't look right, click the Emphasis Area tab. Create a selection using the tools on the far left of the screen. You can then set a Quality option for the selected area that's higher than the Quality setting for the rest of the image.

5.A photo saved in True Color PNG format.

A Quick Look At GIF And PNG
The GIF file format can store a maximum of 256 colors, making it a poor choice for photos, which typically contain thousands of colors (GIF is best used for computer graphics). You can also save PNGs using 256 colors, these PNGs are often smaller than GIFs.

The PNG file format also has a True Color mode similar to JPEGs. The advantage with True Color PNG is that it does not make any changes in your image's quality; the disadvantage is that True Color PNGs are significantly larger than JPEGs. Be certain to use the True Color option when saving photos as PNGs, since the 256 color option will almost always cause a loss of color (#5 and #6). I use True Color PNG frequently for storage on my hard drive, since it creates files that are usually at least 30 percent smaller than other common True Color formats.

6. Saving the photo in 256 Color PNG format--there is a noticeable loss of color.

A Note For Digital Camera Users
There's often confusion regarding what JPEG settings should be selected when using a digital camera. Most cameras offer two categories of selections: Resolution and Quality. Resolution (the photo's dimensions) will depend on whether you plan on uploading your photo to the web, or printing it. For more information on the different resolutions needed for the web and print, see this article on the eDigitalPhoto website www.edigitalphoto.com/tips_ techniques/0403edp_edigital/index.html. As for Quality, most digital camera manufacturers don't explain exactly how much quality you're losing when you use anything less than the highest setting. So it's best to use the highest Quality setting, and then optimize the image in SmartSaver Pro, where you have complete control over the process.

Additional Features In SmartSaver Pro
SmartSaver Pro has a batch processing option that can be used to compress entire folders instead of single images. To access this feature, Click File, and then click Batch Process. SmartSaver Pro can also be used to create web design elements such as Image Maps, Image Slices, and JavaScript Rollovers.

To learn more about these features, visit www.ulead.com/learning/ssp.htm.

A free trial version of SmartSaver Pro can be downloaded by visiting www.ulead.com/ ssp/trial.htm. The cost of the program is $59.95, with an upgrade being $34.95.

Tony Celeste appreciates feedback from his readers. You may contact him at aceleste@comcast.net.