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How to convert all the colours to a constant palette? (standard Windows colours)

Posted on 2002-03-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi all,
How to convert all the colours to a constant palette? (standard Windows colours)

Someone tell me the following, But I don't know how to do that by Photoshop6. Please help me and tell me the detail.

Thanks, supwang

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Also, using 256 colour bitmaps can cause problems if you use bitmaps with different palettes.  If you
have two or more different bitmaps with different palettes, then you will get colour clashes (which
cause the screen to "swim").  When you get your bitmaps, run them through a program that can convert
all the colours to a constant palette (I use standard Windows colours).
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If you have a system running 256 colours, you are bound to a predefined set of colours - commonly known
as the Windows 8bit Palette.  What this means is, if you load an image with colours outside of the standard
palette, Windows will attempt to pick the closest colour and display that.  Or worse, it will do a palette
switch.  Palette switching is annoying because each time you change Windows (from your app to something
else), Windows swaps the palettes again.  This causes the screen to "swim" (my term for doing palette
alterations).  So you can see this happening, change your system to be running in 256 colours, then
open two different 256 colour images and switch between them.  If they are using different palettes,
Windows will change palettes when you change windows, which makes everything look weird temporarily.
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Question by:SupWang
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Accepted Solution

by:
weed earned 50 total points
ID: 6887931
Open the image you want to convert. Go to Edit, Image>Mode>Indexed Color. Pick the Windows System palette.
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Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 6888837
Why? I ask because even if you do try to 'match' the palettes, it won't ensure that everybody sees the same thing. Monitors don't match, don't display the same, have problems, people set them weird, etc.

It's also very likely to shift the colors in the graphic pretty dramatically, especially if it's anything with subtle shifts in tone/shading.

If you're doing an animation, you don't have a choice, you have to convert to 256 colors. But I've always gotten much better results by using adaptive rather than 'web safe' colors.
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 6889319
webwoman: if its for a game with a small palette or a windows system thats only using 256 colors and you have a graphic with a palette outside that 256 range, its going to do nasty things. I dont think wang is doing this for web stuff.
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Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 6889510
Aha... that would make a huge difference. Games are a whole 'nother beast indeed.
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by:SupWang
ID: 6890312
Hi,
I use these bitmaps on program toolbar (16 X 16 bitmaps... )

Why the "Windows System palette" just have 256 colors? How about the 24 bits color bitmap show on the 16 bits color windows?

Regards, supwang
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 6890317
The windows system palette is just a holdover from the days when video cards could only display 256 colors. It wasn an attempt to standardize so that your computer wouldnt have to swap palettes and do weird stuff. Nowadays you can use pretty much any colors you like since almost no one is using 256 colors.
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by:SupWang
ID: 6891498
I see now. Thank you very much.

Best Regards, supwang
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