Quality of ps export image

So...  I've created my beautiful, high quality graphic in Photoshop5 (windows), and I'm ready to save it to use it on my web pages.  All my lovely embossing and drop shadows are great and I'm only using 2 colours: black 0,0,0 and yellow 255,255,0.  I flatten my image and select file/export/gif89a.  When I look at the resultant gif file in a browser (netscape or explorer), the quality has downgraded and where I had a nice smooth black shadow beneath my black text, it's gone all bitty.

I've tried fiddling with the 'system/exact' settings and the 'number of colours' etc, in the export dialogue box, all to no avail.  Even exporting at the highest number of colours looks nowhere near as good as the view I have of the flattened image inside photoshop before I export it.

I'm sure it's something simple (and I'm just an idiot), but I'm not too hot on how to load pallets and the like (if that's what's causing the problem), so a step-by-step would be appreciated.

Cheers - MorFF
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MorFFAsked:
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mazelonCommented:
what is the graphic and where are the problems on it???  are you making the black color the invisible color?  here are a couple of Ideas.  If it is a text picture, try shutting off the "anti-aliasing" button.  This will make the text more blocky looking but it will not blend the color..  perhaps it would be easier if you were to put a link to the graphic here so we can see for ourselves what is wrong and better help you.


Mazelon
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weedCommented:
Bells went off in my head when you said "Im only using 2 colours" and "nice smooth black shadow"..Each part of that nice smooth shadow constitutes a new color so you in essence have 256 different shades of yellow where the shadow overlaps the yellow. Youve got LOTS of colours in there and this is where the gif format has problems. Gif files are limited to 256 colours and they dither those colors to get what appears to be more colours. The moral of the story? Gradients, shadows, fuzzy edges, DONT jive well with the gif format. Use JPG instead.
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mazelonCommented:
I would have to agree with Weed on this one... JPG is a very good format... I would say go with it as well... unless you wanted a transparent color... then you may have to think of a different design for your graphic.  any shading is pretty much out of the picture with a 256 color gif compared to the 16 bit color abilities of a jpg.
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MorFFAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, I suspected it was something to do with the 256/216 colour thing.  The JPG emulates the quality nicely.

On the subject of pallets tho' is it possible to load the 256 gif pallette or the 216 'browser safe' pallette into photoshop, so you can only use those colours?  If so, can you explain how?

Cheers - MorFF

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weedCommented:
I believe there are photoshop web safe pallets available from www.lynda.com. She makes the free downloads which is nice. Also heres a brief explanation of how to do it without extra color pallets.

Web safe by using the Photoshop Info palette and seeing if the red, green, and blue readouts are zero or multiples of 51: 0, 51, 102, 153, 204, and 255. If the values deviate more than 10 from a multiple of 51, the color will shift noticeably when you substitute a Web-safe color. By running the WebScrub filter you can bring the colors into the Web-safe palette very quickly. Go to www. verso.com/agitprop/dithering to download the free filter and use it whenever you need to ensure that every pixel is Web safe.

Also photoshop 5.5 has web safe pallets built in.
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