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Saving images for the web

From: Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

Video: Saving images for the web

When you are getting a photo ready to post online on a web site, a blog or photo sharing service, you want it to look its best but you also want it to be fast to download. You'll often have to resize the photo to fit it into a particular space or to meet the requirements of the site to which you are posting. The Save For Web window is a special workspace where you can get all that done in one place with the most control over the result. Here, in the editor I have an image open and I'd like to prepare it for the web. So I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose Save For Web.

Saving images for the web

When you are getting a photo ready to post online on a web site, a blog or photo sharing service, you want it to look its best but you also want it to be fast to download. You'll often have to resize the photo to fit it into a particular space or to meet the requirements of the site to which you are posting. The Save For Web window is a special workspace where you can get all that done in one place with the most control over the result. Here, in the editor I have an image open and I'd like to prepare it for the web. So I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose Save For Web.

That opens the Save For Web dialog box. Let's take a quick tour of this interface. Over on the top left there's an abbreviated toolbox with a Hand tool and a Zoom tool and Eyedropper tool and a foreground color box. On the left, is a preview of the original image; the PSD that I opened and on the right of how the image will look optimized for the web with whatever setting I've chosen over here in the column on the right. You can use these two views to compare the appearance of the optimized image with the original.

Now, there's important information at the bottom left of the optimized version of the image. Here, you can see the file size of the optimized version with the settings that are chosen over on the right. As you choose settings on the right, you want to keep your eye on this number as well as on the appearance of the optimized version of the image. As the file size goes down here, the image quality will decrease too. So, it's always a compromise between file size and photo-quality. The real action in this window is over on the right in the optimize settings.

Let's walk through these settings for optimizing a photograph. First, I'm going to choose the format. The default format here GIF is not a good format for optimizing photographs because GIFs only have a limited number of colors. Photographs are continuous tone images with lots of colors in them. So, a photograph will look better and compress smaller in the JPEG format. So, I am going to set that field to JPEG and those changes out all the rest of the fields. The most important setting for optimizing a JPEG is the quality setting.

To change the quality setting, I can either click this slider and drag or I can come over to this menu and choose Low, Medium, or High and that will just set the Quality slider to a specific number. So, I'll start with Medium and that sets the Quality to 30. As I decrease the Quality, the file size is going to go down and you can see down here underneath the JPEG preview that it's gone down significantly already to 24.32 KB. But the danger is that the quality of the image will decrease too.

To check for the JPEG quality, I need to view it at 100%. So, I'll go over to the toolbar and I am going to double-click on the Zoom tool. When the preview is at 100%, I can be assured that the image looks to me like it will to those who are going to view it on the web. I'm going to reduce the JPEG quality and then I am going to zoom in even further. Now, I'm just doing this so that you can see on the video that there are now these squares of color around the high contrast edges. These are artifacts of compressing the file in the JPEG format and these are what I'm trying to avoid as I work on the quality.

So I am going to come over and increase the Quality back to Medium and that does reduce those JPEG artifacts. I'll go back to 100% percent view by double-clicking the Zoom tool. Now, there is no magic number that I can recommend for the file size of any one photograph for the web. That depends on lots of things like the number of images that you are going to be putting on the same web page and the speed of your particular viewer's web connection. But in general, if I'm looking for a number I'll say that I try to keep each image under 50 kB and that number has served me well.

There are more settings to take a look at over here on the right. Progressive, is no longer necessary, that was used back when Internet connections are really slow to allow the image to come in progressively. So, I am going to leave that unchecked. I am going to check ICC Profile. If you listened to the earlier movie on color management you know that ICC Profiles are an integral part of the color management system whose purpose is to achieve consistency in the colors, in the photo that you see here in Elements and the colors that your viewers see in the photo when it's done on the web.

As I explain in that movie, this is accomplished by attaching ICC profiles; little bits of information that describe the way that you attend tend0420 the colors in an image to look. Now, in the past most web browsers couldn't read ICC Profiles but as time goes on more and more browsers are being developed that can read these profiles. So, I usually do check ICC Profile here, and that will include a small bit of information in the optimized file. That will increase file size slightly and you can see down here that that has added about another 3 kB to this file.

But I think it's worth it in order to make the colors look good at least when the files are viewed through a color managed browser at the recipients end. There is one more area to take a look at here and that's the image size area. Sometimes, you have to size a photo to a particular size that's dictated by the rules of the online service or by the web developer or for some other reason. If you do know the width and height to which you need to size an image; you can type in here in the width and height fields. So, if I know that this image can't be any wider than 400 pixels, I'll type that in the Width field and the Height will change proportionately because I have constrain proportions checked which is the default.

Then I click Apply and notice that the file size has gone down quite a bit, over 10 kB. So reducing the Width and Height in pixels of an image will make its file size smaller without sacrificing photo-quality. When I am all done optimizing this file from it's original PSD format where it was 352 kB to it's JPEG format where it's only 16.73 kB and still looks I think pretty good. I'll go up here and click OK, that opens the Save Optimized As dialog box and here I can choose a place to save the file and I'll also go down to the Save As type or Format menu and make sure that that set to save images only.

I don't have to worry about saving over the original because this file is going to be a JPEG and the original in my case was a PSD file. So, I'll just click Save and now I have an optimize JPEG ready to post on the web or upload to Facebook or send by e-mail. Now, what if you're not optimizing a photo for the web but rather some flat art like a web button or a logo. In that case, you probably use a different format like GIF or PNG which offer different settings in the Save for Web dialog box than those I just showed you.

But when you do need to optimize a photograph for the web, JPEG is the way to go and Save for Web is the way to get there.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 15380 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 11m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      3m 47s
    3. Touring the workspaces
      5m 55s
  2. 54m 16s
    1. Working with catalogs
      5m 22s
    2. Importing and using the exercise files
      5m 13s
    3. Importing files from your computer
      7m 31s
    4. Importing photos from your camera
      8m 57s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      4m 44s
    6. Importing files from external drives/CDs/DVDs
      4m 44s
    7. Scanning photos
      6m 50s
    8. Dividing scanned photos
      5m 51s
    9. Importing from watch folders (Windows only)
      5m 4s
  3. 39m 10s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      6m 41s
    2. Viewing thumbnails
      6m 15s
    3. Rotating photos
      52s
    4. Renaming photos
      2m 55s
    5. Fixing photo dates
      2m 28s
    6. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 6s
    7. Stacking photos
      4m 22s
    8. Moving files
      2m 43s
    9. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 53s
    10. Using Help
      3m 55s
  4. 54m 22s
    1. Rating photos
      3m 58s
    2. Applying and organizing keyword tags
      7m 4s
    3. Searching by keyword tags
      3m 35s
    4. Tagging with People Recognition
      11m 3s
    5. Using Smart Tags
      5m 57s
    6. Creating albums
      4m 41s
    7. Creating Smart Albums
      6m 28s
    8. Searching by text
      5m 28s
    9. Using the Find menu
      4m 19s
    10. Using the Timeline
      1m 49s
  5. 30m 14s
    1. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 21s
    2. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      9m 20s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 56s
    4. Viewing by date
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping photos (Windows only)
      7m 19s
  6. 38m 36s
    1. Applying Photo Fix
      9m 0s
    2. The Quick Fix interface
      7m 9s
    3. The Quick Fix controls
      5m 22s
    4. Adjusting lighting in Quick Fix
      3m 46s
    5. Adjusting color in Quick Fix
      5m 39s
    6. Using the Touch Up tools in Quick Fix
      7m 40s
  7. 43m 43s
    1. Guided Edit basics
      8m 13s
    2. Making an Out of Bounds image
      10m 17s
    3. Perfecting a portrait
      7m 43s
    4. Adding realistic reflections
      5m 26s
    5. Applying a LOMO camera effect
      2m 0s
    6. Making pop art
      1m 31s
    7. Using Style Match
      8m 33s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Full Edit workspace overview
      6m 51s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 51s
    3. Using tools
      7m 40s
    4. Arranging panels
      5m 18s
    5. Setting preferences
      3m 41s
    6. Using Undo History
      6m 39s
    7. Zooming and navigating
      7m 4s
    8. Creating a blank file
      5m 19s
    9. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 9s
    10. Cropping and straightening photos
      7m 15s
    11. Recomposing photos
      8m 15s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 27s
    13. Saving and formats
      5m 46s
  9. 35m 4s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 17s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    3. Using layer masks
      7m 43s
    4. Using layer masks to combine images
      6m 27s
    5. Building composites
      8m 16s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Selection basics
      3m 22s
    2. Manual selection tools
      3m 19s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      7m 24s
    4. Refining selection edges
      3m 30s
    5. Saving selections
      3m 23s
  11. 1h 21m
    1. Color managing
      7m 14s
    2. Applying Shadow/Highlight adjustments
      2m 42s
    3. Using adjustment layers
      8m 24s
    4. Masking adjustment layers
      7m 38s
    5. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      6m 8s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 56s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 14s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 37s
    9. Reducing digital noise
      4m 7s
    10. Sharpening photos
      7m 32s
    11. Processing multiple files
      7m 59s
    12. Working with raw photos
      15m 57s
  12. 18m 34s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tools
      6m 16s
    2. Dodging and burning
      2m 29s
    3. Retouching blemishes
      4m 29s
    4. Content-aware healing
      2m 31s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      2m 49s
  13. 25m 53s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 36s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 34s
    3. Using layer styles
      7m 23s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 46s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 19s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
  14. 11m 25s
    1. Creating text
      7m 1s
    2. Editing text
      4m 24s
  15. 1h 25m
    1. Creating a photo collage
      8m 38s
    2. Fine-tuning a photo collage
      8m 3s
    3. Creating greeting cards
      8m 34s
    4. Creating photo calendars
      9m 28s
    5. Creating CD/DVD jackets and labels
      7m 43s
    6. Creating a photo book
      7m 44s
    7. Fine-tuning a photo book
      7m 11s
    8. Creating a slideshow (Windows only)
      8m 0s
    9. Fine-tuning a slideshow (Windows only)
      3m 23s
    10. Creating a flip book (Windows only)
      2m 47s
    11. End to end: Making a scrapbook page
      8m 15s
    12. End to end: Completing a scrapbook page
      5m 24s
  16. 49m 27s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 38s
    2. Contact sheets and picture packages (Windows only)
      6m 40s
    3. Sharing photos by email
      6m 38s
    4. Sharing photos by Photo Mail (Windows only)
      5m 8s
    5. Sharing to Flickr and Facebook
      4m 43s
    6. Saving images for the web
      6m 48s
    7. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      2m 55s
    8. Sharing online albums at Photoshop.com
      5m 4s
    9. Backing up
      2m 53s
  17. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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