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When you're saving photographs to be placed on the web, it's a little bit different than just saving out a standard JPEG file from Photoshop normally. So in this movie, we're going to be exploring how to optimize a photograph for the best quality, and also best size, depending on where you're sending it on the web. So I am going to go up to the File menu and I'm going to choose Save for Web. That's going to open up the Save for Web dialog box for me. And I'm going to make sure, first of all, that I've got the right format selected, because once I open this up, it might switch to something like GIF or PNG. For photographs, the best format is going to be JPEG because that's going to give you the smoothest transition in color.
It's also going to give you the widest gamut of color, and also the best file size for the quality that you get. So let's go ahead and come up here to the top and let's change this to a JPEG. Now also, it's very rare that I am going to be putting an image of this size anywhere on the web. This image is 1024 x 768. So let's say for instance that I needed this to be something that's going to sit in sidebar of one of my web pages, or maybe it's even the header image of a blog post. So what I am going to do is change the Image Size down here at the bottom as well. That's going to give me a better idea of how big this file is going to be.
So I am going to come down and let's say that I need this to be about 600 pixels wide, and once I do that, I'll click in the next box, and it automatically optimizes it down to that size for me. Now you're seeing here at the bottom that it is in JPEG format. It's only 48.09 K, which is a pretty small file size for the size that I am getting here. But I might want to try to crank that down a little bit. So let's come up here to the top again, and let's try to optimize this a little bit better. Let's change this from High Quality to Medium Quality, and you'll notice that I don't see a big shift in the image itself.
As a matter of fact, the quality looks just about the same as it does at the High setting that we just had. However, the file size has been cut in half to 22.8 K. Now if I take this down even more to Lower, you're going to start to see some serious artifacts pop up right here around the middle of the image. And if I zoom in, you'll really start to see it right around here. So watch the difference between Low, and Medium, High, Very High, and Maximum. You can see, as you get higher and higher, the quality difference isn't all that great.
It's not like on TV when you see the crime techs hitting the Enhance button on the keyboards; it's not ever going to be that clear. But dialing this back from Very High to High even takes it back to 48 K. Dialing it back to Medium takes it back to 22 K. If we kept it on something like Maximum, the file size would be 226 K. That's extremely large for an image. So backing it down to something like Medium is very acceptable, and at 100% magnification, I really can't tell the difference between Medium and High anyway. You can also change the Quality setting here if you wish.
Changing the Quality setting does affect the overall quality of the image and the file size, so if I crank this up to 100, you see that goes to 226 K, and cranking that back to 30 changes that to 22 K. Essentially, what you have here are presets for the Quality, and over here is just a slider for the Quality. So you can drag this up and down to change the quality and watch the file size change here, or you can simply pick one of the presets. Totally up to you. Now that I'm finished with the Quality setting--and I've got a pretty small image, 22.8 K.
Seems pretty good. I am going to make sure that no color profile is embedded. I am also going to make sure that I'm not converting to sRGB. My preview is in Monitor Color. That way I am getting an accurate preview of what the image is going to look like on the web. From here, I simply go down to the Save button, and once I go down to the Save button, I am just going to save this out to my desktop as big_bot.jpg, and I will hit Save. And now I have that file saved out on my desktop, and if I open it up, there you see it. It's at 100%, looks pretty good.
If I take a look at the original PSD file, there's not a whole lot of quality loss between the two, if any whatsoever. So I've got a file now that is really optimized to be on the web as opposed to something that was almost 2.5 megabytes when I first started. So as you start to send your images out for the web, be sure to take the time to go into the Save for Web dialog box and tweak the way that they're optimized and all of the different settings that you have available to you so that you get the smallest file size with the best amount of quality for your web site.
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