Graphics: editing and obtaining clip-arts

This tutorial concentrates on editing existing images, and how to obtain clip-art on the Web. The use of graphical packages to create images is beyond the scope of this work.

Editing graphical files

Editing means: converting between formats, cropping, resizing, adding text to an image, creating interlaced and/or transparent background gif files, etc. It is the massaging of graphical files before including them in your page.

I will focus this tutorial on the Windows platform, and on a specic Windows tool capable of doing most of the functions needed in editing graphical files: Lview.

Introduction to Lview

The Lview software can be found at the Lview page. You can download a copy for you from there of the 21-day evaluation version, unfortunately it is no longer free for students (it is installed in the UB labs). You can download for free XnView, but it will not do transparent gifs (see explanation later in this tutorial), unfortunately.

Interlaced and transparent gifs

Some images look better if their background color matches the browser window, making the image appear to float in the window. You can't do this by setting the background color of the image, since you can't control how people will configure their browsers.

You can control this by using GIF89a images, which have the ability to mark a single color in the colormap as transparent, forcing the browser to use its background color for those pixels in the image. LView and Windows and Linux free software like the GIMP and ImageMagick can do the job. Only gif files can be transparent, jpegs will not work.

Creating animations using the gif89A format

Take a look at my old Index page and you will see a spining triangle, if you are using a modern browser. How was that accomplished? Java? Java Script? No, that is only a gif89A format image comprised of four gif images of the triangle in different positions running in a loop.

The easiest way to accomplish this effect is to use the GIF Construction Set. The reference below cover the process of creating animations using gif89A.

An interesting example of what you can do is seen below.

Converting your business graphics to gif

An easy way to create your own graphics is to use a familiar business graphics package, such as Corel Presentations, PowerPoint, Freelance, etc. I will exemplify this procedure with Freelance, but it also applies to the other presentation packages available in the labs, University of Baltimore.

Finding clip-arts on the Web

These are references to sites with multiple sources of clip-arts:

This page is maintained by Al Bento who can be reached at This page was last updated on March 5, 2003. Although we will attempt to keep this information accurate, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.