There are many different graphics formats used on the internet. Sometimes different tools that nominally use the same format do not create images that are compatible - hence my title Graphics Wars. This page explores different image formats. There's also a section on safe colors and a list of links for more information and free graphics to use on your website. Do not copy images without permission.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) files are one example of multiple formats for the same file extension. The ICO committee could not agree on the format standard. C-cube Microsystems used the JFIF (JPEG File Interchange Format) standard for jpg and jpeg files. Later SPIFF (Still Pictures Image File Format) added enhancements and used the Jpeg and spf file extensions.
There are hundreds of different graphic file formats. The table below describes a few.
Table of Image Formats
Colors displayed on a computer for text and graphics are expressed in terms of red, green and blue (RGB). The RBG number may be expressed in hex or decimal. Old monitors and browsers support only 256 different colors. To be sure that everyone sees the same colors on your webpages, use only colors from the 'browser safe' palette. This are colors with hex values of 00, 33, 66, 99, CC or FF for each of the RGB values. In decimal these values are 00, 51, 102, 153, 204, 255. (e.g. hex: 00 33 66, decimal: 00 51 102) If you use a color that is not in this palette and the user's browser only supports this palette, it will display the closest color in the browser safe palette. See the Visibone Color popups, for the 216 browser safe colors. HTML Goodies: Hex and Word Color Codes is a helpful chart of color names and codes but it includes named colors that are not in the safe palette.
Color Schemes Generator - Amazing tool to create a myriad of color schemes.
GIMP - GIMP is a very powerful free graphic tool for creating and editing graphics. It is very similiar to PhotoShop, but free. Gimp is very complex and challenging to learn, but stick with it and you'll be amazed at what you can create! There's lots of documentation available but not much for the beginner. GIMP was originally written in UNIX but is also available for Windows, although most of the documentation assumes UNIX.
GraphicCat's Lair - Some great free graphic sets are available here for personal use and Pat will create custom graphics for a fee.
myImager - A free online image editor. This is a very powerful tool that can change the size, color, rotation, format and compression of your images without any other graphic tools. Other features are also available.
PhotoPlus - Image creation and editing software. Versions 6 is free and versions 8 and 9 of PhotoPlus and other graphics products are available for purchase. Tutorials are also available on the site.
WizHat - Free graphics, quick Html reference, glossary and more