Photoshop For The Web, 2nd Edition

"A Great Collection of Techniques and Tips!"

| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product

Title: Photoshop For The Web, 2nd Edition
Author: Mikkel Aaland
Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates
Publication Date: December 1999
Pages: 230
ISBN: 1-56592-641-2
Price: $29.95

Photoshop For The Web is the second edition of Mikkel Aaland's in-depth text on Adobe's powerful image manipulation program, and focuses on Photoshop 5.5, as well as ImageReady 2, which accompanies it. Aaland is well-suited to write such as book as he has 10 years in new media production; the result is that the book is a confident and clear guide on topics ranging from how to configure Photoshop's preferences specifically for the Web to using ImageReady to create quick rollover buttons.

User Level
Advanced Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced computer users. The author suggests that you have a working knowledge of at least Photoshop 4.0.

Features I like include:

  • Cross-platform book;
  • Well organized;
  • The author uses extensive examples on how to make graphics look good from his own and others' experience;
  • 160 full-color glossy illustrations;
  • Numerous material on how to use graphics to improve Web sites.
Product Analysis

How The Book Is Organized

Beginners can read the book cover to cover as a lot of the instruction is very basic. But intermediate-level users and anyone just upgrading to version 5.5 could hop around within the book as a fast way to get acquainted with the new features of both applications. The book falls loosely into three main areas of organization.

Section I

Chapters 1 through 2 deal with tuning Photoshop appropriately for Web production (for example, optioning out of image previews for JPEG images) and adjusting photos for the Web (including using the new Web Photo Gallery feature).

  • Chapter 1 Making Photoshop Web-Friendly: explains how to set up Photoshop to accommodate the rules of the Web.
  • Chapter 2 Improving Photos for the Web: focuses on preparing and optimizing photographs and other continuous-tone art for the Web.
Section 2

Chapters 3 through 6 detail working with GIF and JPEG images.

  • Chapter 3 Making Great GIFs: how to convert existing graphics to GIF.
  • Chapter 4 Creating GIFs from Scratch: how to create browser-safe GIFs from scratch.
  • Chapter 5 Special Effects with Transparent GIFs: explains the ins and outs of transparency, including how to avoid the dreaded halo effect.
  • Chapter 6 JPEG: All the Color You Want: gives you the lowdown on JPEG, the 24-bit format of choice for photographs.
Section 3

Chapters 7 through 12 help resolve specific problems like creating tiled and nontiled background images and navigational icons (for example, beveled buttons and bullet balls with light effects). And there is an excellent chapter on using ImageReady to create GIF animations and rollovers.

  • Chapter 7 Creating Background Tiles: step-by-step instruction for creating background tiles.
  • Chapter 8 Photoshop Web Type: working with type.
  • Chapter 9 Creating Navigational Graphics: creating navigational graphics.
  • Chapter 10 Importing Vectors into Photoshop: shows you how to avoid some of the pitfalls that are associated with importing Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand vector-based files into Photoshop.
  • Chapter 11 Laying Out Pages in Photoshop: goes into detail describing how web producers are using Photoshop as a web design tool.
  • Chapter 12: ImageReady 2.0: shows you how to use ImageReady 2.0 to slice, animate, and create rollover effects.
  • Appendix A The PNG Format
  • Appendix B Third-Party Software
  • Appendix C Contributor Notes
Final Comments

Photoshop For The Web, 2nd Edition is a great resource for beginners or advanced Web designers. It has loads of information to make your web graphics and web site look professional.

System Requirements

For running Photoshop 5.5 on a Windows system:

  • Pentium or faster Intel processor;
  • Windows 95/98/NT4.0 or later;
  • 64 MB of RAM (96 MB of RAM or more to run Photoshop & ImageReady concurrently);
  • 125 MB of available hard disk space;
  • 256 colors (8-bit) display adapter (24-bit color recommended);
  • CD ROM drive;
  • Sound card recommend for viewing interactive tutorial files.

For running Photoshop 5.5 on a Macintosh:

  • PowerPC based Macintosh computer;
  • Apple System Software 7.6 or later;
  • 64 MB of RAM (96 MB of RAM or more to run Photoshop & ImageReady concurrently);
  • 125 MB of available hard disk space;
  • Color monitor with 256 colors (8-bit) or greater video card (24-bit color recommended);
  • CD ROM drive.
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