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Maintaining crisp text in web images

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Maintaining crisp text in web images

When you are exporting out images for the Web, typically, if they are photographs, you are going to be exporting them out as JPEG files. JPEGs do a good job of handling image data. However, they can do a real number on text quality. JPEGs are not really good at handling solid color, and that's usually what text is made up of. So we are going to look at an example here of how to maintain better quality with your text, when you are planning to export out your file. So, here's my design, a little teaser image going into one of my Web pages. We've got a little saying up top and a little logo down in the bottom.

Maintaining crisp text in web images

When you are exporting out images for the Web, typically, if they are photographs, you are going to be exporting them out as JPEG files. JPEGs do a good job of handling image data. However, they can do a real number on text quality. JPEGs are not really good at handling solid color, and that's usually what text is made up of. So we are going to look at an example here of how to maintain better quality with your text, when you are planning to export out your file. So, here's my design, a little teaser image going into one of my Web pages. We've got a little saying up top and a little logo down in the bottom.

As it stands right now, it looks fine inside of Fireworks. But I want to do a couple of things here. I am going to open up my Optimize panel, and I'm going to switch to my Preview mode. As soon as I switch to Preview, we're seeing exactly what is going to happen to the image once it's exported based on the current export settings, and if you look really closely around the text, you'll see that there is some issues, these weird little artifacts going around there. I'll zoom in just a little bit so you can see it a little bit better. This is what's referred to basically as JPEG Artifacting. It's one of the problems we have with text in JPEGs is that we get some odd little weirdness going on around the text.

In many cases, the text actually appears a lot more blurry than it was originally intended to be. Now, Fireworks has a couple of ways in which we can handle this kind of thing. Firework has a great little feature for reducing this text quality problem in JPEG files. We'll take a look over in the Optimize panel. You'll see an option here called Selective Quality. Now, it's currently disabled. You can see there is a number 90 in there, and it's not available for editing. We are going to be making a change to this in just a second. What I do want to point out before we go there is take a look in the bottom-left corner of your Document window, and you'll see that the current file size is 22 KBs, not bad for a relatively large file.

We'll see why this becomes important in just a minute. We are going to hop back over to our Selective Quality. We'll click on the little icon to enable the Selective Quality settings. So, we have a couple of choices here, and the one we are working with is really the easiest one. All we are going to do is enable the Selective Quality. When you enable this option, you've got the ability to control the quality over certain elements. As soon as you enable this option, you'll also notice that Preserve text quality appears checked as well. Now, we are not seeing the effect just yet, but when I click OK, if you take a really good look at your image, you might have noticed that things got a little bit nicer around the edges of the text.

Keep in mind, I am zoomed into 150%. So, it's larger than we normally see for our actual image. The file size, however, also increased somewhat. We are at just over 24.50 KB, so we added a couple of kilobytes to the entire files size. We are not stuck with this particular value. If we are really concerned about the file size, we can certainly adjust the Selective Quality. I can click on that numerical value there and maybe set it to 80, and see what that gives me. I'll just tab out of the window there. I've saved about a KB.

But at 80, we are starting to see those Artifacts much more noticeably. So, I am going to change it to 85, and that's a bit better. Let's set the file size to just under 24 KB. That's not too bad. I think we're pretty good stead there. If I go back out to 100%, we are not noticing that problem quite so much anymore. If I am still concerned about it though, I can certainly beef it back up to 90. But that's giving me a way to quickly control the quality of the text when it gets exported as part of a JPEG file.

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This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29647 viewers

Jim Babbage
Author

 
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. What is Fireworks?
      1m 59s
    3. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 1h 27m
    1. Creating and opening documents
      7m 36s
    2. Understanding the interface
      9m 43s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 18s
    4. Setting up rulers, guides, and grids
      10m 7s
    5. Using tooltips and Smart Guides
      5m 40s
    6. Working with panels
      9m 29s
    7. Working with pages
      8m 59s
    8. Working with layers
      13m 13s
    9. Working with states
      4m 35s
    10. Using the Properties panel
      4m 38s
    11. Using the Preferences panel
      7m 34s
  3. 52m 39s
    1. Understanding the Fireworks PNG format
      2m 11s
    2. Saving and exporting files
      5m 11s
    3. Importing files
      5m 34s
    4. Opening Photoshop files
      6m 7s
    5. Opening Illustrator files
      3m 58s
    6. Exporting a single file
      9m 57s
    7. Using the Image Preview window
      1m 52s
    8. Using the Export Area tool
      3m 10s
    9. Creating PDF files
      4m 16s
    10. Saving Photoshop files
      5m 48s
    11. Using Fireworks files for Illustrator
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding bitmaps
      1m 32s
    2. Resizing images
      3m 48s
    3. Using the selection tools
      8m 0s
    4. Using the drawing tools
      8m 19s
    5. Retouching with the corrective tools: Rubber Stamp
      12m 16s
    6. Using the bitmap effects tools: Blur, Sharpen, and Replace Color
      7m 33s
    7. Using more bitmap effects tools: Dodge and Burn
      7m 1s
    8. Improving images using the Levels filter
      8m 15s
    9. Creating a bitmap mask with a selection
      6m 2s
  5. 1h 10m
    1. Looking at the vector toolset
      6m 53s
    2. Using the Pen tool
      7m 32s
    3. Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools
      4m 35s
    4. Filling shapes with patterns and live filters
      3m 17s
    5. Using Auto Shapes
      7m 24s
    6. Using shapes as image elements
      4m 16s
    7. Scaling shapes
      5m 28s
    8. Masking objects with vector shapes
      7m 13s
    9. Applying strokes
      5m 52s
    10. Using Vector Path and Path Scrubber
      6m 9s
    11. Using the Compound Shape tool
      7m 40s
    12. Using Snap to Pixel
      2m 15s
    13. Using Gradient Dither
      1m 46s
  6. 51m 18s
    1. Understanding symbols
      5m 41s
    2. Creating graphic symbols
      13m 11s
    3. Creating button symbols
      10m 22s
    4. Creating animation symbols
      5m 4s
    5. Sharing symbols with the Common Library
      1m 37s
    6. Editing the instance of a symbol
      3m 46s
    7. Adding component symbols to a design
      8m 46s
    8. Exporting and importing symbols
      2m 51s
  7. 17m 34s
    1. Creating GIF animations
      9m 31s
    2. Animating with Twist and Fade
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a tweened animation
      4m 16s
  8. 26m 46s
    1. Using text in Fireworks
      7m 19s
    2. Understanding text properties
      3m 14s
    3. Adding text in a path
      4m 43s
    4. Adding text to a path
      4m 31s
    5. Using text as a mask
      3m 35s
    6. Maintaining crisp text in web images
      3m 24s
  9. 28m 35s
    1. Having fun with filters
      8m 44s
    2. Working with Styles
      4m 10s
    3. Using Blend Modes
      4m 40s
    4. Converting bitmap selections to paths
      3m 50s
    5. Working with Adobe Swatch Exchange files
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Kuler panel for color inspiration
      4m 38s
  10. 1h 14m
    1. Understanding the web toolset
      1m 51s
    2. Creating hotspots
      6m 22s
    3. Using the Slice tool
      8m 57s
    4. Using a master page
      5m 20s
    5. Sharing layers across pages
      4m 49s
    6. Sharing web layers across pages
      3m 30s
    7. Using HTML component symbols
      3m 15s
    8. Creating choices and showing design options to clients
      7m 7s
    9. Importing pages
      2m 47s
    10. Previewing the mockup
      4m 17s
    11. Using HTML prototyping
      5m 22s
    12. Improving the workflow
      20m 30s
  11. 33m 19s
    1. Optimizing images for export, part 1
      15m 36s
    2. Optimizing images for export, part 2
      13m 36s
    3. Generating a CSS-based layout
      4m 7s
  12. 22m 20s
    1. Integrating Fireworks, FXG, and Flash Catalyst
      3m 56s
    2. Integrating Fireworks and Flash
      3m 46s
    3. Using roundtrip editing between Dreamweaver and Fireworks
      5m 52s
    4. Copying and pasting objects to Dreamweaver
      2m 57s
    5. Integrating Fireworks and Device Central
      4m 13s
    6. Working with Bridge
      1m 36s
  13. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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