Tutorial Tuesday: Best Web Graphics

September 16, 2008

CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT are very popular tools for creating Web graphics. Notice I said graphics, not the HTML code for the page. If you don’t have a good handle on how to best utilize the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite to create graphics for the Web, it is very easy to make mistakes.

Hunter Elliott has written an excellent tutorial on creating Web graphics. While the description says it is for CorelDRAW 9-12, it works equally well for X3 and X4. You’ll learn when it is best to use a GIF or JPEG and how to properly create them. You’ll also learn about PNG files and using PNG transparency. What about Web safe colors? Yes, those are covered and you’ll see they aren’t really that safe or that necessary. These and many more topics are covered in the tutorial.

That tutorial will have you well on the way to creating graphics for a Web site. But many users are confused about the best way to use those graphics as part of a Web site. For that, you need another tool that is designed for creating Web pages and sites. Probably the most popular tool is Adobe Dreamweaver CS3. It comes with a lot of power and a fairly hefty price. For just over half the price, Microsoft’s Expression Web 2 gives you a very powerful tool for building Web sites. Unlike FrontPage, the new product creates much cleaner code and is worth a look. For those looking for a product under $100, check out Namo WebEditor. There are some free tools such as Nvu and Alleycode that might get the job done for you.

Personally I’m a big fan of hand coding my pages. Everyone creating Web content should have a good grasp of HTML code no matter what tool you use. If you understand HTML, a code editor simply makes writing the code a lot easier. Unlike the WYSIWYG tools, it doesn’t introduce extra bloated code making your pages much more efficient. I’ve been using HomeSite for years now. It has been absorbed by Dreamweaver so we’ll look elsewhere for solutions. One product I’ve used is TopStyle. It was created by the same person who created the original HomeSite and has some great features for creating pages and CSS stylesheets. I use it occasionally but still turn to HomeSite for most of my coding. Other users have highly recommended I switch to WeBuilder 2008. It certainly looks promising and I will give it a test drive when I have time to explore further.

The key here is to use the best tools for the job. CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT create great graphics and the others tools mentioned can help you use those graphics for a Web page or Web site. Do you have a favorite tool I haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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1 Comment

  1. Gerard Metrailler

    If you like coding web pages by hand, there is also the option of “Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition” that is a free download from the Microsoft http://msdn.microsoft.com web site. That’s the tool I use for the web development of http://CorelDRAW.com for example.


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