InDesignSecrets Podcast 188

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  • News: PEPCONIDUG site and our forum
  • All about the “Forbidden Formats” in InDesign: JPEG, GIF, and PNG
  • Bonus! We get sidetracked and rant about Adobe Digital Editions
  • Obscure InDesign Feature of the Week: Letter V

4 Comments on “InDesignSecrets Podcast 188

  1. So, guys, I feel like a discussion of these formats is incomplete without some explanation of what they are and are not appropriate for.

    You say that the main difference between PNG and JPEG is PNG’s transparency support. I think that’s dangerously misleading:

    The big gotcha with JPEGs is that they cannot represent sharp edges and should only be used for continuous-tone imagery. So JPEGs are great for photographs, but they are horrible for text, for line art, or even large solid objects. They are mathematically incapable of accurately reproducing those effects. No matter how high up you crank the resolution, you’re still going to have problems with fine details in a JPEG. And these things degrade rapidly when you’re at anything other than the highest quality levels. You’re much better off with a PNG.

    I find it kinda weird to suggest GIF and PNG might not be appropriate for print…they’re fine as long as they are of adequate resolution and color space, which is entirely file-format independent. (Of course, you can’t have CMYK GIFs and shouldn’t have CMYK PNG files, so if you’re working in color, they might not be appropriate).

    And to say JPEG is a web format, well. Most cameras produce JPEG images (when they’re not producing raw formats)…

    So I guess it all depends on how you look at it.

  2. @John, good thought but I don’t see this as that big of a gotcha. If the intent is sharp text or line art, we’d likely be working with a 1-bit image, which does not save to JPG in Adobe apps anyway. If we do not limit ourselves to 1-bit artwork (working in 8-bit or more), we’re still going to get mushy text and lineart in TIF/PNG/etc… So this is not as much of an issue with the JPG file format.

    Another concern with these file formats is if they support color profiles.

    @Anne, JPG does support 1-bit transparency clipping in InDesign. You just need to find your path to enlightenment.

  3. Jim: I see non-1bpp text in images all the time, not just in RGB or CMYK images, but also greyscale images. I pretty much never see 1bpp images…

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