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Which image format should you use? The two factors to consider are file size and image quality; you want to keep the file size down for quick viewing while maintaining the best clarity. In general photographs should be jpgs, and graphics - solid blocks of color (non-photorealistic images) should be gifs. The best way to demonstrate this is visually:

Use .jpg for photos...

.gif: 5.51k .jpg: 4.94k
.gif: 5.51k .jpg: 4.94k

Use .gif for graphics...

gif: 1.68k jpg: 2.17k
gif: 1.68k jpg: 2.17k

There is an up-and-coming format, PNG, which is only supported by the leading browsers in version 4 and above, and it's beginning to replace .gif. Call me old school, but .gif works perfectly fine for, so we aren't planning to switch for now.

Jennifer Frost is Art Director at

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