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Staff Handbook: Tasks : Converting Word Graphics

Method 1: Copy and Paste

For images that are actually pictures within word, the simplest method is to copy the image from within Word, and then create a new image in Photoshop and paste the content into it. To copy the image from within word, simply click on it. Note that this may require some dexterity if the image is stuck within a frame. Note, this method cannot be used for textual content such as complex tables, order forms. For those you'll have to use the second method (see below).

Once you've copied the image into memory, open Photoshop. Now create a new document ("New" under the "File" menu). Photoshop is smart enough to know that the new image should be the same size as the image content in your copy buffer, so just click "OK" to create a new image that's large enough.

Once the new image window is open, simply paste the content into it, by default it should fill the whole window. Saving the document can be a little tricky, basically you need to know that Photoshop has a concept of layers, think of layers as sheets of cellophane with parts of the picture painted on them. When you look at them all together, you see the whole picture. The only program that supports this is Photoshop itself. All other image formats require that you "flatten" the layers into one complete picture before you can save your content. When you paste content into a Photoshop document, the default action is to paste it into a new layer. So in short, you need to use the "Flatten Image" command under the "Layer" menu.

Once you've flattened the image, you need to decide which format you're going to save it in. The rule of thumb is to save photographs in JPEG format, and to save graphs, non-photographic logos, and small pictures in GIF format. If you're going to save the image in GIF format, you'll need to change the "mode" of the image to "Indexed Color". The "Mode" option can be found under the "Image" menu.

Once you've changed the mode of the image (for GIF images only), you can simply save the image. Select "Save" under the "File" menu. At the bottom of the dialog box that appears is a drop-down list box that should display a list of all the available image formats. Select the image format you want (either "JPEG" or "Compuserve GIF"). Then give the file a meaningful name with no spaces and the correct extension (.jpg for JPEG files, .gif for GIF files). Click "Save" to save the file. Both image formats will pop up dialog boxes asking you to set some options for the image you're creating. For JPEG images, use the dialog box to set the quality to maximum. For GIF images, use the dialog box to save the image in quot;non-interlaced" mode.

Of course, you'll also have to upload the image to an appropriate location using Fetch before you can add it to a web page.

Method 2: Print and Import

Macintosh only

The other method for creating images is a lot like creating a PDF file. You save the printer instructions to a file (in this case an encapsulated postscript file), and then open the file from within Photoshop.

First, open the document you're working with in Word (or Pagemaker, or whatever it was created with). Then figure out which particular page you want to print. Now, select "Print" under the file menu.

The dialog box that comes up will give you a lot of options, you'll need to change a few of them before you can continue. First, select the page you want to print, this will vary so you have to know this before you try to print. Now, in the upper right corner, change the drop-down list box so that the section reads "Destination: File" instead of "Destination: Printer". Next, you'll have to change the drop-down list box immediately below the printer name (upper left corner) so that it reads "Save as File".

The dialog box will now present a bunch of options that relate specifically to saving printer output to a file. First, you need to change the drop-down list box next to the word "Format" to read "EPS (No Preview)". Now, change the "Postscript Level" to "Level 2 and 3". Finally, change the drop-down list box to the right of the words "Font Inclusion" to read "All". You are now ready to hit the "Save" button and create an eps file.

Now, you'll need to open the eps file you just created from within Photoshop. You open the file just as you would any other file, by using the "Open" command under the "File" menu. In short, postscript files are a series of printer instructions which include some bitmapped content (pictures drawn as a grid of colored pixels). In this sense, postscript and eps files are similar to most other graphics formats. What makes them different is that they also include vector graphics. Vector graphics are drawing instructions that make pictures by recording points and the lines and curves that connect them. Because computer displays deal with content in bitmapped format, all vector graphics must be rendered, or converted into a particular set of colored pixels before they can be displayed.

Why do we care? Basically, because vector graphics can be cleanly displayed at any size you choose, Photoshop will want to know what size image you want to create from the points, lines, and curves stored in the eps file. In most cases, you'll want to create an image that's letter-sized (8.5 x 11 inches) at 72 dpi (screen resolution). Photoshop will render the printer instructions into a bitmapped image.

When you get to this point, you'll probably need to flatten the layers the image is composed of (see above). Again, to do this we use the "Flatten Image" command under the "Layers" menu. Next, you'll need to use the crop tool to remove the parts of the page you aren't interested in (consult the Photoshop manual if you don't know where the crop tool is located). Once you've cropped the image, simply save it to an acceptable format (you'll probably want to use GIF format, refer to method 1 for more tips on working with GIF images).

Again, you'll need to upload the final image using Fetch before you can add it to a web page.
Last updated on: Monday, 30-Jul-2001 16:56:11 EDT


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