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When you want to prepare photos for web browsers and for onscreen viewing such as interactive PDF files, you can optimize the images by choosing the File→Save For Web command. After opening a file in Full Photo Edit mode and choosing the command, the Save For Web dialog box opens.

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In this dialog box you see your original image on the left and the result of making changes for file format and quality settings on the right.

The standard rule with web graphics is to find the smallest file size for an acceptable image appearance. In the Save For Web dialog box, you have many choices for reducing file size. Notice that you see the original image with the file size reported below the image on the left.

After choosing JPEG for the file type, you can see that the image size is reduced from the original 2M to 223.4K.

From the drop-down menu, you can make choices for the file type from JPEG to GIF, PNG-8, or PNG-24. You can also use the Quality item that appears to the right of the drop-down menu to adjust the final quality of the saved file.

For photographs that are continuous tone images, JPEG will most often be your best choice.

If you experiment and view the result of making changes in the drop-down menu for other file types, be certain to zoom in on the image by clicking the Zoom tool in the Tools panel on the left, or simply use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+plus key to zoom in and Ctrl+minus key to zoom out (Command+plus key and Command+minus key on the Macintosh).

In the lower-left corner of the dialog box, you can choose zoom levels from the pop-up menu or just type a value in the field box. For the most accurate viewing, set the zoom size to 100 percent. If there is any loss of image quality, it is easily discernable when viewing at a 100 percent view.

If you have an image with just a few colors such as a logo, try the GIF or PNG formats. If you need transparency in an image, then you need to use either GIF or PNG-24. Quite often you’ll find PNG-24 results in the best-looking image.

Working in the Save For Web dialog box is a matter of making choices and viewing the results. Toggle the different file type choices and make adjustments for quality. If you see image degradation, change to a different quality setting or file format. Always look at the file size item reported below the image on the right and try to find the lowest file size that produces a good-looking image.

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