Save Files for the Web in Photoshop Elements 12 - dummies

Save Files for the Web in Photoshop Elements 12

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

When you want to prepare photos in Photoshop Elements for web browsers and for onscreen viewing such as interactive PDF files, you can optimize the images for the web by choosing File→Save for Web. After you open a file in the Photo Editor in Expert mode and choose the command, the Save for Web dialog box opens, as shown in the figure.

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 in the figure 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 3.55MB to 55.52K.

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 or PNG-24 are most often your best choices.

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 press Ctrl++ (plus key) to zoom in and Ctrl+- (minus key) to zoom out (Cmd++ and Cmd+- on the Mac).

In the lower-left corner of the dialog box, you can choose zoom levels from the drop-down 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, you can easily discern the loss 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-8 format. If you need transparency in an image, 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. For detailed steps on saving files for the web, check out the Photoshop Elements 12 for Dummies Extras on the For Dummies site.