Graphics for different outputs

Content management techniques

These are just some of the reasons why your content's graphics require careful attention:

  • Image Resolution: For print output, you'll want high resolution graphics (300-600dpi) that will print well, whereas your Help and HTML outputs only require screen resolution (usually 96 or 72dpi).
  • File Size: The size of the graphics used to create the printed document is not critical. However, in a Help system and especially in HTML pages, it is very important to keep files as small as possible.
  • File Format: in print outputs, you have a large selection of file formats to choose from. However, WinHelp and HTML are limited to only a few specific formats, and there is not one format to fit all requirements. Author-it enables you use one source file and to specify the different output file formats to publish.
  • Image Transparency: This issue alone will probably be enough reason to have different formats of your graphics. You will have to do some careful reading on transparency and the tools required to achieve it.
    • Print always assumes the page is white and therefore white is transparent.
    • In WinHelp, transparency is mapped to a color at a specific palette location in the BMP file. Background colors are often not white.
    • In HTML, each area of transparency is specifically tagged in the GIF file.

In summary, it is almost inevitable that you will end up having several different formats and resolutions of the same image. For maximum control, you can do the conversion work yourself with your favorite graphics tool, and keep one of the graphic formats as the master. Or you can let Author-it do most of the conversion work for you.