GIF is a versatile format for condensing color images for use on the Web. It is particularly well suited for any image with areas of flat color, such as logos, line art, icons, cartoon-like illustrations, etc. (Figure). It compresses them cleanly (since it is a lossless compression) and efficiently (LZW compression looks for repetition of pixel colors). Even if the image contains some photographic elements, if the majority is flat colors, GIF is your best bet.
Figure: Examples of images well suited for GIF format
You will also need to use GIF format if you want a portion of the image to be transparent, because it is the only format that has this ability and is universally supported by browsers. PNG files can contain transparency information (actually, in a more sophisticated way than GIF), but as of this writing, browser support is too spotty to use them confidently.
GIF is also a good option for adding simple animation to your page without relying on plug-in technology, Java programming, or server-intensivemethods. Most browsers display an animated GIF as easily as any other GIF.
GIFs are not particularly good for photographic images. With the 8-bit limit, true color information is lost and the subtle gradations of tone become pixelated when the image is reduced to 256 colors. The quality of the image may be greatly reduced. In addition, GIF is not able to condensephotorealistic image content efficiently.
In many cases (especially for very small images), GIF works just fine for all image types, but you will get much better image quality and smaller file sizes if you save photographs and continuous-tone images as JPEGs.
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Web Designing Tutorial
Designing For A Variety Of Browsers
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Web Design Principles For Print Designers
A Beginners Guide To The Server
Printing From The Web
Structural Html Tags
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Specifying Color In Html
Cascading Style Sheets
Server Side Includes
Designing Graphics With The Web Palette
Audio On The Web
Video On The Web
Flash And Shockwave
Introduction To Smil
Introduction To Dhtml
Introduction To Xml
Wap And Wml
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