Text appears in a web page one of two ways: as text, embedded in the page's HTML, or as part of an image. Generally speaking, large amounts of type are typically incorporated into the page as HTML; images that contain type often include buttons and banners.
Type displayed in a web browser window is displayed as pixels, whether HTML or in an image. Because the type is displayed at 100% onscreen, small type is often blurry or jagged. You can use Photoshop's anti-aliasing to smooth the curves of type you incorporate into an image. Fonts with strong, even strokes reproduce more cleanly with pixels than do cursive or ornamental fonts.
When possible, use sans serif fonts for web graphicstheir straight, even strokes reproduce more clearly in a web browser.
HTML web standards include a handful of different type sizes and fonts, some for headings, some for text, and some for emphasis. Uh-huh. "Bor-ing," to quote the kids. However, you're not necessarily limited to what HTML has to offer. If you want a more elaborate title for your page, create it in Photoshop (you can also use ImageReady for this task), using filled letters, filters, drop shadows, glows, or whatever other special effects you like. Crop it tightly and save it as either a GIF or JPEG. Figure 12.22 shows a title I created for my page. Compressed, the file is only 6.3KB.
Figure 12.22. I used Photoshop's filters to create the 3D effect.
You have the option of converting your file to JPEG or PNG or to GIF. One good thing about text is that it usually, but not always, is applied to a white background. If this is the case with your website, there is no need to go through the trouble of exporting a transparent GIF89a file. Just make sure that your background is white and save it as a plain GIF file.