Images are both used and abused by web page creators. The old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" has to be treated with caution, as images on web pages have quite often been used for pure decoration, and as such perform no useful purpose. However, a well placed image can illustrate a complex point, which might otherwise be more difficult to express in words. This tutorial will explore the issues surrounding the use of images on web pages. We will emphasise 'correct' use, and come up with a list of guidelines which will help when using images with your websites.

Types of image

There are two main types of image, and these are

  • vector
  • bitmap

Each of these are available in many different formats. However, web page standards currently only support three formats of bitmap images (.gif, .png and .jpg), and no vector images.

Vector images and other formats of bitmap image need the use of a 'plugin' or other form of operating system support for them to be displayed within a web page as well as using different XHTML syntax. This is only dealt with at a simple level in this tutorial. For more information see the Embedded Media tutorial.

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