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When you take a picture with a new digital camera, or when you scan something, you may get a file with the file extension ".bmp" after the file name.  That means it is a bitmap.  A bitmap literally maps every bit (pixel) of the picture.  This makes a really large file. With some newer cameras the picture is 17 inches wide, and the file may be  3,500,000 bytes, or larger.  That file is useful if you want to edit or enlarge the picture, or if you want to print a large picture or make a good clear bitmap for digitizing, but it is really large to store on your computer, and extremely slow to send as e-mail. It's rude to send a bitmap when it is not actually needed, but in some cases you do want to.   In that case,it is possible to "Zip" a bitmap.  For that you might use WinZip or PKZip .  This is called "compression" because it compressed the data into a smaller file.  Compression works better on cartoons or pictures with big areas of the same color.  Photographs, which have lots of shading are very difficult to compress.

The easiest way to send a picture is to use a compressed file format as an e-mail attachment without zipping it.  Most people prefer to use a ".jpg" file for the Internet because the jpg format makes the nearly the same quality of image, but it the files are much smaller and faster to use.   One program that can be used to do this is Irfanview.  This is a shareware program written by Irfan Skiljan .

I'm not an expert Irfanview user, but I have made a few pictures showing how to do some basic things to make e-mailing a picture easier.

First you need to open the program and then open a file.  This is what the screen will look like.  Start by left clicking on "File".

You will see a browse box that will allow you to find your picture.  The small file folder with the arrow on it, to the right of the "look in:" field,will take you up the tree if you are not in the folder where you need to be, and the small black arrow right next to the field will let you go down the tree.  By "Tree" I mean the tree of files,folders and drives on your (Windows) computer that is shown when you click "My Computer".  In this case, the tree is upside down, since the top of the list is called the root and we move down the root, through drives and folders to the files.  Select the file name you want by double clicking on the name inside the window below, or by left clicking on it and then left clicking on "Open".   To identify the features on the screen, hover your mouse cursor over them.  

This box shows a preview of the picture, and tells us some things that are useful to know. 

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Graphics Basics One

 Using Irfanview to Prepare Pictures to be Sent as E-Mail Attachments