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How To Convert an Image to GIF Format

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GIF images are commonly used on the Web for buttons, headings, and logos. You can easily convert most images to the GIF format in any image editing software. Keep in mind that photographic images are better suited for the JPEG format.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Open the image in your image editing software.
  2. Go to the File menu and choose Save As.
  3. Type a file name for your new image.
  4. Select GIF from the Save as Type drop down menu.
  5. Look for an Options button to customize settings specific to the GIF format. These options may vary depending on your software, but more than likely will include some or all of the following choices...
  6. GIF87a or GIF89a - GIF87a does not support transparency or animation. Unless you have been instructed otherwise, you should choose GIF89a.
  7. Interlaced or non-interlaced - Interlaced images appear gradually on your screen as they download. This can give the illusion of faster load time, but it may increase the file size.
  8. Color depth - GIF images may have up to 256 unique colors. The less colors in your image, the smaller the file size will be.
  9. Transparency - you can choose a single color in the image that will be rendered as invisible, allowing the background to show through when the image is viewed on a Web page.
  10. Dithering - dithering gives a smoother appearance to areas of gradual color gradations, but can also increase file size and download time.
  11. After selecting your options, click OK to save the GIF file.

Tips:

  1. GIF images are limited to 256 colors or less. Converting photographic images with more than 256 colors to GIF format can result in a blotchy appearance.
  2. The less colors you have in your GIF file, the smaller the file size will be and the faster it will download.
  3. You may want to use a GIF optimization program to give you better control of the various options.

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