Style over content

Written by Alex Cruickshank

Continued from page 1

For small buttons, logos and other navigational icons, GIF is often preferable. It requires less processing power to decode, andrepparttar files are often smaller than JPEG where few colours are involved. Use an image editing program that allows you to setrepparttar 129940 number of colours as 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256. Many programs only allow 4, 16 and 256, which will inevitably lead to waste. Experiment with colour reduction; in most cases you should be able to reduce your navigational buttons to 16 colours or fewer with no loss of image quality. If you find that you require at least 128 colours for a particular file, consider changing it to JPEG format, as this could save more space.

Other tips:

When shrinking images, resize first and reduce colour depth second, forrepparttar 129941 best anti-aliasing results.

Reduce colour depth in steps - 256 to 128 to 64 to 32 to 16 - as this will often produce better weighted colours than a jump from 256 to 16.

Whichever format you use, be sure to save images at a resolution of 72 dpi, as anything higher is a waste when images are displayed on screen.

HTML pages can also be pared down to a minimum. There's plenty of software around that will help with this task - a search on 'HTML optimisation' or 'HTML compression' will lead you inrepparttar 129942 right direction.

Include WIDTH, HEIGHT and ALT tags in all your image references, so that people can navigate your site whilerepparttar 129943 graphics are still loading.

Only use graphics where you need them. A good designer can produce a clean, attractive and easy-to-navigate site with just a few well-placed image files.

Above all, remember this: Web surfers have a very short attention span, so a fast site is a popular site.

Alex Cruickshank is a freelance IT journalist and contributor to the UK editions of PC Magazine, Mobile Computing and various other titles. He's also the Editor of IT Reviews ( and The Glass Belljar ( Perhaps not surprisingly, both sites make very careful use of graphics.

Writing Fiction for The Internet

Written by Andy Walsh

Continued from page 1

You have a great story but no one seems to want to get involved.


There is an alternative to traditional publishing and it uses a resource that is becoming increasingly popular -repparttar internet.

You see, traditional publishers, bless them, are in a highly competitive market. They cannot afford to take some ofrepparttar 129938 gambles that they might have done a few years back. They have to make sure thatrepparttar 129939 books that they publish make money. Now they all make mistakes (anyone remember Anthea Turner's Biography?) but inrepparttar 129940 main you can't blame them for being cautious.

Consider two circumstances:-

One If I was a soap star, then I'd have more chance of being published. I'd have celebrity, for a start, my name would be known. Not that I'm suggesting that celebrities produce rubbish. It's just that if a publisher had two books of equal literary value (in their opinion), one by a major soap star and one by a complete unknown, I know which one they'll pick to publish.

Two Suppose I have written a superb biography of, for example, Prince Rupert of Liechtenstein. It may be a truly well researched and well written volume. It may allowrepparttar 129941 reader deep insights intorepparttar 129942 subject matter. It may be one ofrepparttar 129943 best biographies ever written. However, it has no real market. Maybe only a handful of people inrepparttar 129944 world are interested in Prince Rupert. Now, supposing that onrepparttar 129945 same day a moderately well written biography arrives of a famous Premiership footballer. Which one willrepparttar 129946 publisher pick?

You see,repparttar 129947 above two examples show two things inrepparttar 129948 modern world of publishing. You need to have an assured MARKET and you need to have a PROFILE.

Granted, new authors are published every week. But it is getting increasingly difficult to be published byrepparttar 129949 traditional route.

The internet isrepparttar 129950 great leveller. You can publish, within reason, what you like. Someone in Brisbane who shares your passion about Prince Rupert can type his name into a search engine and find your glorious book.

You are no longer dependent on someone else to become published.

You are free...

Andy Walsh is a househusband and writer living in Cumbria in the UK. He writes novels, short stories and poems some of which you can read at Buy 'Writing Fiction For the Internet' at Contact him at

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