WPDFD Issue #9 - December 01, 1998

Graphic File Formats

We have been through quite a few generations of Web browsers in the past five years or so and have seen many promising new technologies come and go. No matter how good they are, or how useful, technologies based on plug-ins seldom last long. Apart from a handful, most of them fall by the wayside because of lack of adoption. For a while, the PNG format (pronounced Ping) seemed to hold a lot of promise, but because the main browsers didn't support that format natively, and the compression never managed to better that offered by GIF and JPEG formats, its future is now in question.

Sometimes you can go on for years using something and knowing, deep inside that there is something wrong, but not quite realising what it is that's niggling you. The default Web palette in Photoshop has all the 216 colors that it should have, but they are arranged in numerical order which makes it difficult to see the relative values of the colors with respect to one another. In ImageReady, the swatch is arranged a little better, but they have left some of the Web safe colors out and, goodness knows, there are few enough of them as it is!