Preparing Web Images with Photoshop

If you’re creating images to be used on a website, then Adobe Photoshop is a must have. It’s the premier program for manipulating and creating website images. The creators of Photoshop realize that many web designers use the program, and they’ve made it easy to create and save web images.

When you’re creating images in Photoshop, it helps to have a working knowledge of the program. You’ll get lost trying to learn without guidance. It’s a huge program with a steep learning curve. The sheer number of design options can be overwhelming. There are numerous books written on how to create simple and complex graphics using Photoshop. The purpose of this article is to briefly discuss how to save a file after creation.

Save for web is an indispensable feature when it comes to creating web graphics. It’s excellent for creating JPEGs and GIFs at 72 ppi, which is the web page standard. Photoshop also saves in other formats, but none are as popular as the GIF and JPEG. A quick note: If you plan to later print an image you’ve created in Photoshop, you should know that 72 ppi doesn’t print well. You will have to resize your image as a 150 or larger ppi file.

When you first create your image, it will be a Photoshop file with extension “PSD”. It’s a good idea to save your original image as a PSD file so it can be edited later if necessary. PSD files can be saved without flattening. Once a file is flattened, it can’t be edited. Never flatten an image unless you’re certain you won’t have to edit it.

When you’re satisfied with the look of your file, you can prepare it for web use. By clicking the file option, you’ll also see “save for web”. That’s what you want to choose. The dialog box will appear and prompt you to choose a save format. Take a moment to explore the options box.

Photoshop has made it possible to experiment with different settings without altering the original file. Based on the format you choose, your image will be adjusted before your eyes. In fact, you will see exactly how different formats will look. For instance, you can see what your image will look like as a JPEG, then as a GIF, and so one. You can decide on a final format, file size, and various other choices based on the preview image. Once you’re happy with the results, it’s time to save the file.

So basically you need to:

1. Create the image

2. Choose file, save for web

3. Choose a file save format

4. Choose an image size

5. Chose quality level for a JPEG and a number of colors for GIF

6. Choose a location in which to save your file

Of course there’s more involved, and this article simply provides a basic overview. Some Photoshop users aren’t aware of the save for web option. Now you have an idea of what can be accomplished.

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