A Guide to Web image Compression Software: WebImage
Software type: GIF/JPEG optimiser, image manipulator
This is another good program, similar in some ways to WebGraphics Optimizer. It handles GIFs, JPEGs and other image formats, compresses files, optimises palettes, allows image input and editing, and it does a good job on compressing animated gifs. The GIF interface is simple and (for me) intuitive. On my first animated GIF test (the stomping foot) it didn't select the best set of palette colours, when left to itself, compared to Ulead, but it did give the smallest file size of any package I've tried (though they're all pretty close). It is also very good at shrinking small, low-colour-number GIFs.
JPEGs are not its strong point. While you can use it to change the JPEG compression level, this is only available as an export function and you can't see the effect as you do it. Seems an odd oversight. Maybe I missed something? I'll report back if I find a way around this.
It comes bundled with an image cataloging utility as well. That's quite useful, though on my machine it couldn't open an image in the default image editor. (I've kept Paintshop Pro as my default, despite the attempts of various other programs - including WebImage - to kidnap the file settings!) The fully functioning download allows you only ten days trial before it expires, so don't delay your testing.
Conclusion? Definitely put it on the shortlist if it's GIFs you want.
Links to information about web graphics compression, palettes and related matters of interest.
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