142. Make the Picture Web Friendly
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
141 Edit the Picture
143 About Posting Pictures with the eBay Picture Service
144 About Using External Hosting for Your eBay Auction Pictures
Editing your photo is only the first step in preparing your photo for eBay. You must also make the picture web friendly. The photo must be in a specific web-friendly format and must not be so large that it takes too long for people to download. Paint Shop Pro offers a great set of tools for making your photo ready for the Web.
| | Use a Web-Friendly Palette
When people browse the Web, their monitors do not necessarily display colors and pictures accurately, because of variations in monitors and computer graphics systems. But you can use a web-friendly palette
made up of colors designed to display properly on the Web, no matter what computer is viewing those photos.
KEY TERM Palette
A group of colors used in a picture. Not all the colors in the palette are necessarily used in the picture, but the picture can use only the colors in the palette and no colors outside the palette.
Paint Shop Pro can change any picture so it uses only colors from a web-friendly palette. Open the picture file in Paint Shop Pro; then select Image, Decrease Color Depth
from the menu. From the submenu, select 256 Colors (8 bit)
. When the Decrease Color Depth
dialog box appears, select Standard/Web Safe
and click OK
| | Resize the Image
Be careful that your picture isn't so large that it takes up too much of your auction page. As a general rule, it shouldn't be more than 400 pixels wide. See 141 Edit the Picture
for information on how to resize your image in Paint Shop Pro.
142. Make the Picture Web Friendly
Convert to JPEG Format
The JPEG format is best for posting photos on the Web. If your picture is in another format, convert it to JPEG by selecting File, Save As . In the Save As dialog box that appears, select JPEG JFIF Compliant (*.jpg, *.jif, *.jpeg) from the Save as type drop-down list, and name the file. The original file remains in its original format, but you'll save a new image file in the JPEG format.
| | Optimize Your JPEG File
When creating your photo file for use on the Web, you must balance file size in kilobytes and picture quality. Make the photo too large in kilobytes, and the page takes too long to load and you chase away potential bidders who won't wait for the picture to display. But the smaller the photo, the less detail, and you don't want a photograph of such poor quality that bidders are put off by it. Paint Shop Pro can compress the photo while retaining as much detail as possible to let you balance the two conditions.
Paint Shop Pro offers tools for balancing file size and quality. Select File, Export
from the menu and select JPEG Optimizer
. The JPEG Optimizer
dialog box appears. On the left side is a portion of the picture without compression (underneath the picture is the file size). On the right side is the picture with compression applied to it (underneath that image is the file size of the compressed picture).
Paint Shop Pro can also optimize other web-friendly graphics formats, including GIF and PNG. To optimize them, select File, Export and then select JPEG Optimizer or GIF Optimizer .
In the Set Compression Value to
box, change the value of the compression (the number is a percent) until you find a file sizepreferably under 50KBthat still retains the quality of the picture. To better help you balance size and quality, click the Download Times
tab. That tab reports how long the picture will take to download at various connection speeds (56K, 128K, 380K, and 720K). For example, a 46KB picture takes 8.3 seconds to download at 56K; 3.6 seconds to download at 128K; 1.2 seconds to download at 380K; and 0.6 seconds to download at 720K.
When you're satisfied with the results of your compression options, click OK
Preview Your Picture in a Browser
How will the picture look when posted on the Web? You can preview the image you've been manipulating in your web browser. Select View, Preview in Web Browser from the menu. The Preview in Web Browser dialog box appears. In the Web Browsers section, select the browser you want to use to preview the picture. In the Image Formats section, select the format of the file you're previewing. Then click Preview to see the picture in a web browser the way auction visitors will see it. Close the browser window when you're done viewing.
Save the Picture
If you're not satisfied with the picture as it will appear on the Web, continue to work on the file as described in steps 14, and then preview the file again. When you're satisfied with the picture, select File, Save and save the file.