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Vive la différence! Just as the French celebrate the differences between the sexes, everyone should appreciate individuality in others and themselves. What makes us unique is what makes us special.
That follows too, to our sense of aesthetics, so what looks nice to one may bring an adverse reaction to another. It is this fact that will determine, when looking at web-ready graphics for projects,
whether you prefer a JPG, GIF or PNG file. The first will 100 per cent of the time have a background and while that may suit some people for their projects, others are looking for transparency so the image
looks less highlighted, more blended. The better chance for this then, though not guaranteed, is the latter two.
If you decide on the GIF, however, note that these files are smaller in size and will only display a maximum of 256 colours. So, while this colour limitation in GIF files makes them well-suited for simpler images
with solid areas of colour, they are not good choices for reproducing colour photographs and other images with continuous colour.
Pictures often do speak better than words of course. People working on a project for the first time may still not fully understand what we mean when we talk about transparency, and/or be unable to visualize
what it will mean to the finished product. A visual example is always helpful, so to demonstrate we took an image of a plain tank top from iCLIPART.com (#152579) and added image
#488417 as both a PNG and a JPG. Here are the respective results:
However, if you definitely want transparency and have image editing software, remember, the best way to go is with vector files. They can always, unless they have been created with a coloured
background that is part of the design, be saved as a new file with a transparent background (where the file format permits).
What software do you recommend I use to open vector images?
There are a number of options available for opening vector files, including some free ones. Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat Reader, InDesign, PaintShop Pro and newer versions of
QuarkXPress all support EPS.
These files can also be opened in Microsoft Word as it embeds the files in documents to serve as a simple viewer. To preview the image, just drag and drop the file (or in an older version use the Insert tool)
into a word document.
If you own an Apple computer, you can view images in Preview which comes installed on all Macs.
Suggestions to open AI files, other than Illustrator, include: Adobe Acrobat X, Photoshop CS6, Photoshop Elements 10, Flash Professional CS6, Serif DrawPlus X5, ACD Systems Canvas 12, Corel Draw Graphics
SuiteX6 and Inkscape.
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