GIFs are better to use for drawings and line art. They are restricted to a maximum of 256 colors and in PSP can have only one layer. JPEGs allow 16.7 million colors and so are better for photographs. JPEGs can be compressed to a low, medium, or high level. The higher the level of compression, the smaller the file size; however, smaller file sizes mean lower image quality.
An image map is a graphic that allows links to be mapped to certain coordinates in the image. Each separate set of coordinates within the image map is linked to a different web site. Image maps provide users with a graphic, rather than text-based interface for navigating a site.
I would use a mask to create different functions on a graphic or to constrain painting or a filter effect to a specific area of the image. A mask allows you to apply effects to portions of an image without modifying the entire image.
I would use layers to place portions of my image onto individual sections where I could manipulate and change each portion independent of the rest of the image. For example, in creating the collage photograph for our Week 4 Project Assignment, I used several layers to add photographs to create the unified collage graphic.
Saving a file as a PSP file retains all of the modifications made within the image. It retains layers applied, as well as masks and selections saved to alpha channels. Saving a file as a GIF or JPEG saves only the current version of the image. It does not save all of the steps applied as the image was modified and created.
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