The Types of Graphics Used in Websites
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In this short article, I am going to introduce you to the types software used in creating web graphics.
The two basic types of graphics software:
There are many companies selling software to make graphics for both the web and print. All of these products have their own nuances and capabilities, but generally speaking, graphic images that have been processed by a computer can usually be divided into two distinct categories; such images are either bitmap files or vector graphics.
As a general rule, scanned images are bitmap files while drawings made in applications like Xara or Adobe Illustrator are saved as vector graphics. Yet today you can convert between these file types and even mix them.
Read on and see why Xara is the best web graphics software out there! --> Try Xara!
1. Vector illustration:
Vector graphics are images that are created using mathematical equations. These types of programs are typically used to create drawings, shapes, and lines. It is easier to create these sorts of graphics in vector illustration software than it would be in a bitmap editing software. Vector graphic files are usually very small (in kilobytes) because they only contain data about the shapes that form the drawing
2. Bitmap or image editing:
Examples of bitmap editing software are products like Adobe Photoshop and Corel PhotoPaint. These programs where originally designed to edit images like photographs. The key difference between vector and bitmap editing software is that the bitmap editors work on pixels where vector illustration software works with mathematical equations that set the dimensions of the shape(s). Bitmap editing software produce much larger files than vectors software since the files have to store information about each pixel in the image.
My 'secret weapon' in web design.
Over the years, I have used many programs from both camps and from many companies. Of them all, hands down my favorite is a little less known software called Xara. Directly quoted from their web site:
“XARA X is quite simply the best value vector graphics package you will ever see.”
This is no lie, it is faster and easier to use than anything else out there and it produces great work. It is vector software with some decent bitmap handling capabilities like transparencies. It was designed from the start for web graphics and it shows with its’ built in abilities to create web menus, rollovers, drop shadows, and bevels with a simple click of a button yet with total control!
On top of all its power is the fact it is really cheap at about $149 US, this compared to competitors who sell their products for 3 to 4 times the price! It also comes with a collection of photos, fonts, and clip art that are all important tools when creating web sites. And now they even include for free a CD with videos showing you how to use Xara! As you can tell, I like this tool and I highly recommend it for both the absolute beginner who will be amazed at how easy it is, and for the professional web designer who will be amazed at how fast it is.
Xara also has a 'little brother' that is also great; Webstyle is based on Xara and is even made easier but does not have all the features and power. But it still can be a good choice for some people at $69 US.
If you pick up one of these products through us, you will be helping us to build this site and you will in return be getting the best graphics tool in web design.
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