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Preparing photos for the web

From: Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Video: Preparing photos for the web

If you want to display your photographs on the Web, you need to convert them into a format that a Web browser can read and display. You'll usually want to make them much smaller than if you were preparing them for print. To convert images for use on the Web, you'll go to the File menu and you go down to Save for Web & Devices. That opens this separate interface , the Save for Web & Devices window. When the window first opens, you see an Optimized preview of your photo here. That means a preview of the photo as it will appear with the settings over here on the right-hand side.

Preparing photos for the web

If you want to display your photographs on the Web, you need to convert them into a format that a Web browser can read and display. You'll usually want to make them much smaller than if you were preparing them for print. To convert images for use on the Web, you'll go to the File menu and you go down to Save for Web & Devices. That opens this separate interface , the Save for Web & Devices window. When the window first opens, you see an Optimized preview of your photo here. That means a preview of the photo as it will appear with the settings over here on the right-hand side.

If you prefer, you can look at the photo in 2-Up view, which shows you your original PSD file, which is a non-web format, as compared to the one that you're going to be optimizing for the Web. You can even view your images in 4-Up tabs and then click in any one and drag and then you could setup each one of these frames with different settings and compare their appearance against their size. In each frame you see the size over here in the bottom left corner. For this lesson I'm going to go back to the Optimized view, just because it lets us see the image better.

I'm going to go over to the controls and I'll make here the major change that I would make whenever I'm optimizing a photo for the Web. And that is to make sure that this format field is set to JPEG, rather than GIF or PNG. GIF or PNG are used for optimizing graphics; JPEG for photographs. The main option that affects how small a JPEG will be. And how good it looks is this control right here, which is the Quality control. In this menu there are some quality presets. I'd start with Low just to see what it does to the image.

And notice over here this is a Quality of 10. The image looks really bad. These blurry squares here are called JPEG artifacts. To avoid those I'm going to change the quality preset to Medium. And I think that looks a lot better. I've now put the Quality up to 30. Now notice that the file size is now 17.23 kilobytes. If I go to the preset menu again and try High, the size of the file goes way up, and more than doubles, up to 38 kilobytes.

So I want the image to look a little better that it looks at Medium, but certainly not bring it all the way to High, because the file gets too big. So I'll go back to Medium and I might just increase the Quality a bit. I'll try 40. I think that looks okay. The file size is now respectable 20 kilobytes. And there is no magic number for the file size of a particular photo. That just depends on how many photos you have on the page and the speed of the Web connection that your viewer is likely to have. Some of these other settings can be useful, but they don't make much of a difference for most photos.

So I'm just going to leave them at their defaults. In Photoshop CS4, the default behavior is to convert an image for the Web to sRGB in order to control the appearance of the colors as they'll look on most people's monitors. Another new thing in Photoshop CS4 is this Metadata menu. From here I can decide to add no metadata, in other words no file information, or just information about copyright, copyright and contact info, or more information to this file. Copyright and Contact Info is the default.

I'm going to limit this to copyright information and that's the information that in Photoshop proper I added in the File > File Info dialog box. I like to keep the amount of metadata to a minimum in the files I'm preparing for the Web, because every little bit can make the file bigger. When I'm satisfied with both the appearance of the image and its file size I can click Done to close the original PSD file, while making these settings sticky for the file, or I'll click Save. That opens the Save Optimized As dialog box.

As you can see here it's going to save a copy of the image in the JPEG format. I'll save that at on my Desktop. I'm going to save it with Images Only, rather than with HTML as well. And I'll just click Save. This is the original PSD file. I no longer need to keep this one open so I can close it. And I don't need to save it and if I go out to my desktop, pool1.jpg is the optimized photo that I just created for the Web.

When you're preparing your own photos for the Web, do use the Save for Web & Devices window to make your photos as small as they possibly can be while retaining the appearance that you want them to have.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

103 video lessons · 67317 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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