Understand Image-Mapping Software


Although it is possible to create an image map with nothing more than a Web browser for plotting coordinates, it can be a long process, particularly if you are mapping complex shapes. Also, if you are trying to create and maintain more than one Web site, creating image maps this way is simply too time consuming. Just as HTML editors and WYSIWYG programs can make creating Web pages easier, image-mapping software can speed up the process of creating image maps.

Note

Many WYSIWYG programs, such as FrontPage, feature image-mapping software as part of the total package

There are a number of different programs available; most are in the $20–$60 range. Although you might not feel like investing in an image-mapping program for just a few images, if you plan to do a lot of Web design and work on multiple sites, these can be great timesavers. A few of the most popular programs are listed in Table 13-1, with the URL for the publisher and an approximate price. These programs are available as trial downloads.

Table 13-1: Low-Cost Image-Mapping Software

Image-Mapping Program

Publisher Web Site

Approximate Price

CoffeeCup Image Mapper

www.coffeecup.com

$20

MapEdit

www.boutell.com

$10

CuteMap

www.globalscape.com

$20

Image-mapping software makes your job easier by allowing you to click various portions of an image while the software plots the coordinates and writes the code for you. Some of the programs, such as MapEdit, are quite simple. Others are more complex and include the capability to add advanced features such as mouse rollovers and so on. To get a feel for working with image-mapping software, try downloading one of the sample programs and creating some complex image maps.

Caution

Unless you are creating a site for a closed network (Intranet), you should always provide some alternative form of navigation at the top, bottom, or sides of your page. This isn’t only to accommodate those who might be using nonvisual browsers (for example, Braille and aural browsers). It’s also a courtesy to those who don’t want to take the time to decipher what an unclear image map might mean.




How to Do Everything with HTML & XHTML
How to Do Everything with HTML & XHTML
ISBN: 0072231297
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 126

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