Sooner or later every FrontPage, Word or PowerPoint user finds
themselves having to create their own graphics. If you are building
a web site a little skill with creating and manipulating images can
make the world of difference.
Microsoft has had several attempts at providing graphics tools.
FrontPage 98 came with a simple but effective program called
Microsoft Image Composer which was joined in Office 2000 by the
hugely powerful but (in my opinion) rather complex Microsoft
PhotoDraw, which was dropped from the Office suite with the release
of Office 2002. If you have Office 97, seek out Microsoft Photo
Editor and experiment with its range of special effects tools.
Of course, there is always Microsoft Paint - an often
overlooked tool which comes as a Windows accessory, now capable of
exporting the GIF and JPEG file formats essential for web pages.
Almost every web page needs some sort of graphical input. The
delightful portrait of me at the head of this page was taken with a
digital camera then cut out, cropped and re-sized before being
exported as a compressed JPEG file suitable for the web. Next to it
the heading 'Graphics Tips' is also an image. It was created as a
text graphic, underlines drawn, and given two different shading
treatments to achieve a rounded 3D effect.
There are lots of good graphics tools on the market. The
professional graphic artist will choose Adobe PhotoShop which is
justifiably market leader but my choice (at a quarter of the price
and with 90% of Photoshop's functionality) is the excellent Paint
My graphics tips use Paint Shop Pro, but most of the techniques
can be easily applied to other programs.
- Creating a Simple Text Graphic
This tutorial shows how you can use any font in your collection
on your web page by turning it into an image. As well as discovering
Paint Shop Pro's text tool, you'll learn how to use the Gif Export
- Retouching Antialiased Text
Antialiasing helps smooth the jagged edges of bitmapped text, but
sometimes it needs a helping hand.
- Adding Drop Shadow to
A simple and effective way to enhance graphic text.