When you see a Web page with lots of pictures, you're actually seeing a lot of different elements that the computer has put together for your viewing pleasure. Each picture is linked to the main document by a special programming code that tells the computer to find that image on the server and to put it in the proper spot on the page. Computer graphics can be done in any number of different ways, but there are only two major types that you'll find on the Web. The detailed photos you see will be in a format called J-P-G, which is actually short for J-P-E-G. This stands for the group of programmers who created the format, Joint Photo Expert Group. J-P-G is especially well suited for Web use because the photos can be highly compressed for faster loading. It's also very good at the shadings that photographic reproductions require. The second major type of Web graphic is the G-I-F which can either be pronounced Gif or Jif, depending on who you talk to. It stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and was originally created by the Internet service CompuServe. Where J-P-G's are very good at gradations of color, G-I-F's are better for simple designs, like graphs or cartoons. G-I-F's also have another big advantage. They can be animated. An animated GIF can put several different images into a single computer file. When it shows up on a Web page, each of these images will be displayed in succession, making a mini-cartoon for you to watch.
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