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Putting a map in a story

fatmanpaul

Does anyone know how to put a simple grayscale into SOL. If a map is possible, can I make it with the Microsoft paint program?

Ernest Bywater

this tells you how to include the image when you create it. You can do it in paint if you know how to, then save it as a jpeg image or png image but NOT a bitmap which is too big.

https://storiesonline.net/h/41/how-do-i-submit-a-story-or-chapter-with-images

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

For images, generally jpg is best (they allow you to range in quality from web (72 dpi) to print (300 dpi). .png is mainly used for transparencies (if you want the underlying page to show through), which isn't as useful on SOL. Otherwise, it's a largely outdated and rarely used format nowadays.

While you can use M$ Paint, it's a fairly piss-poor program. Frankly, forget M$, as any smartphone has dozens of free or low-cost paint programs which are much higher quality. Simply design what you want and mail it to yourself.

Unfortunately, for decent maps, you'll really want to use a vector drawing program (like Adobe Illustrator), which are not only prohibitively expensive, but also present steep learning curves. I don't know of many cheap mapping/design programs.

Ernest, you've included maps in your books/stories before. What did you use?

P.S. I don't advocate using Adobe, as they're SO expensive. There are MANY programs which are cheaper, often $49 instead of $900!

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

.png is mainly used for transparencies


.png can be used for anything you would use a .jpg for.

.jpg and .png are both compressed image formats. The main difference between .jpg and .png is that .png uses lossless compression.

Ernest Bywater

A lot depends on the type of map you wish to produce. I've a few maps in some of my stories and since I do very basic maps I find it easy to use a spreadsheet for the basic layout then use the draw shapes capability for the curves and similar odd shapes and copy and paste the finished product into GIMP to create a jpg. You can see the results in chapter 1 of my story Mallard Heir or go to the higher definition images at drop box

http://storiesonline.net/s/14392/mallard-heir

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ebk8ve052m0c1rs/AACohN7e_x8OuRFrn0EbQ2L6a?dl=0

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

P.S. I don't advocate using Adobe, as they're SO expensive. There are MANY programs which are cheaper, often $49 instead of $900!


Yes, the full professional version of Photoshop was very expensive, but they had a less expensive version Photoshop Elements which is available for $80.

I've used Photoshop Elements.

fatmanpaul

Thanks everyone for the quick reply. I'm just going to an a very basic map that won't take but a few minutes to create to give a sense of geography. So I take it, I can just upload the map into a word document as a part of the chapter; and then upload the chapter like in the other chapter. Right?

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

Read the info in the link in my first response above - the image has to be a separate file, if you embed it into the word document it will likely get striped out and not appear at all.

sejintenej

If all else fails you could contact Lazlo Zalezac who put in a simple map for his Jade Force stories

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

For images, generally jpg is best (they allow you to range in quality from web (72 dpi) to print (300 dpi).


Submit as big image as reasonable and we'll worry about the appropriate sizing.

.png is mainly used for transparencies (if you want the underlying page to show through), which isn't as useful on SOL. Otherwise, it's a largely outdated and rarely used format nowadays.


Actually PNG is not outdated at all. It's being used more and more. It's perfect for maps. For illustrations, PNG is generally better than JPG.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Actually PNG is not outdated at all. It's being used more and more. It's perfect for maps. For illustrations, PNG is generally better than JPG.


In fact, it's generally better for high quality images no matter what you want to use the image for.

Both PNG and JPG are compressed bitmaps. In both cases, the under lying bit map knows nothing about dpi, it's just x pixels by y pixels.

DPI (Dots per inch) is only used when printing the image on paper.

The main difference between JPG and PNG is the compression algorithm used.

JPG uses a lossy algorithm. That means that when an image is compressed, a small amount of the image data is permanently lost. The code to uncompress the image will infill the lost data, but this is not perfect.

For a lot of uses this doesn't matter, the amount of data lost is very small.

However, if you do a lot of image editing, each time you edit and re-save, the image has to be re-compressed and a little more data is lost. Repeat this enough times and the loss of image quality will be noticeable.

PNG on the other hand uses a lossless compression algorithm. No data is lost and the image can be uncompressed and recompressed with no loss of quality.

Dominions Son

Oh, and if you want to talk about outdated, JPG is older than PNG.

PNG was created as an alternative to JPG. There were two drivers for this.

Hard core image editing people working with photo quality images wanted a format with lossless compression.

The JPG compression algorithm is patented (fortunately it expired a few years ago). Some people had concerns about the licensing costs and terms for the JPG compression algorithm.

The company that originally owned the patent made it somewhat freely available. However, the patent still existed and a few years before the patent expired it was acquired by a patent troll that was threatening to sue everyone doing anything with JPGs and was demanding $billions to go away.

Negative publicity and the major players in the industry deciding to play hardball kept them from suing anyone before the clock ran out and they never got so much as $0.01.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Oh, and if you want to talk about outdated, JPG is older than PNG.

PNG was created as an alternative to JPG. There were two drivers for this.

Understood. What I meant by 'outdated' is that it isn't as widely used as jpg. Heck, even Apple, which originally championed it, no longer uses it (I have a heck of a time getting Apple programs to accept it, as it's the best format for transparencies which work well in print books).

As for alternatives to drawing yourself in a text program, consider hiring someone on fivrr to compose an image for you given your specs. The improvement in quality with be worth the nominal fee (that's what I use for native translations rather than relying on Google Translate).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

What I meant by 'outdated' is that it isn't as widely used as jpg.


So you are saying you have no idea what outdated means.

Yeah, the campaign for general adoption of PNG kind of fizzled when the JPG patent expired.

It's still widely used in photo editing circles. A lot of hard core digital photo people detest JPG because of the lossy compression.

I have a heck of a time getting Apple programs to accept it


Strange, every image editing tool I've ever used on windows, including MS Paint can handle reading and writing PNGs.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


I have a heck of a time getting Apple programs to accept it

Strange, every image editing tool I've ever used on windows, including MS Paint can handle reading and writing PNGs.


The problem (on Apple devices) isn't tied to the acceptance of Apple's one-time tool, but to their 'let's not let the user see what type of file they're accessing', something that PCs foster as well when they truncate the file types.

Thus, in most Apple programs, you simply CAN'T save a file as a png simply because there is NO option to save as a particular file type. Thus, I have some excellent (and cheap) imaging programs which rival Photoshop, but I can't use them because they DON'T support the saving of png files.

And DS, as usual, you love being overly literal. Outdated doesn't mean ONLY 'something that's older'. Most accept standards which are no longer accepted 'by the majority of the population' as being 'outdated'. Since few users either compose in, save as or utilize .png files, it's acceptance isn't as 'accepted' as jpg is, for whatever friggin' reason you want to quote!

P.S. DS, whenever anyone gets as pedantic as you've been lately (myself included), I hope they can get back to writing soon, as typically, it denotes too much time spent online, and not enough being invested creatively. Thus they only see a single side of most issues, rather than the larger issues themselves (i.e. they see only a single tree, rather than the larger forest surrounding them).

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Outdated doesn't mean ONLY 'something that's older'. Most accept standards which are no longer accepted 'by the majority of the population' as being 'outdated'.


I work in IT and I have been in the industry for nearly 20 years. I nave never before heard anyone use outdated to refer to something which has not been supplanted by something newer. This does not apply to PNG.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

And DS, as usual, you love being overly literal.


Probably my biggest character flaw.

Replies:   Ross at Play
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

Most accept standards which are no longer accepted 'by the majority of the population' as being 'outdated'.

Its easier to get a date with PNGirl than with a JPGirl at least in the United States since most JPGirls are in Japan. So JPGirls are out dated by PNGirls. If you are in a fraternity it is easier to give a girl a PiN, so she will be your PNGirl.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

The problem (on Apple devices) isn't tied to the acceptance of Apple's one-time tool, but to their 'let's not let the user see what type of file they're accessing', something that PCs foster as well when they truncate the file types.


On the Mac, you can set the Finder to show filename extensions.

Thus, in most Apple programs, you simply CAN'T save a file as a png simply because there is NO option to save as a particular file type.


In Apple's own programs, the three programs that I have that handle images (Photos, Preview and Aperture) all of them can export into PNG. Apple's graphics library offers PNG support by default so any app that uses apple's graphics library can export into PNG (if it's handling graphic files).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Capt. Zapp

@richardshagrin

Its easier to get a date with PNGirl than with a JPGirl at least in the United States since most JPGirls are in Japan.


But wouldn't PNGirls be in the Philippines? (PiNay)

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Capt. Zapp

According to VeryWellAged and his stories, Filipinas love Kanos (Americans) and they almost all speak English. JaP girls aren't all that fluent in English and aren't specially interested in dating Americans. I am glad you agree JaPGirls are out dated by PNGirls.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Probably my biggest character flaw.

I simply CANNOT RESIST someone leading with their chin like that ...
You don't sound sure ... All of us here would gladly give you their opinions about that. ;)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

You don't sound sure ...


It's not my only character flaw, and might not be the biggest (though it's near if not at the top), but it's the one that would show most clearly online. :)

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

In Apple's own programs, the three programs that I have that handle images (Photos, Preview and Aperture) all of them can export into PNG. Apple's graphics library offers PNG support by default so any app that uses apple's graphics library can export into PNG (if it's handling graphic files).

Still new to MacWorld I guess, didn't know where to find the setting. However, I tried to replace Photoshop with an excellent $49 Mac alternative, only it WON'T save in .png, nor will many of the default Mac programs (Pages, etc.) use them. Photoshop does, which is why I continue using it, but only because the feature was ported over from Windows.

It's strange to use transparent layers, and then be unable to save them as a transparent file. :(

@D.S. Maybe not in tech, but the 5" floppy was long outdated by the 3" before they finally quit making the 5". Thus there was a long period where the floppy was considered 'obsolete' by MOST users, even while it was still promoted as an active product.

I guess I should have use "unpopular" or "no longer considered viable by the majority of computer users" rather than "outdated".

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Maybe not in tech, but the 5" floppy was long outdated by the 3" before they finally quit making the 5"


Yes, but the 3" (really 3.5") was newer tech It took time, but the 3.5" supplanted the 5.25". So that case doesn't at all support your case regarding usage of outdated.

PNG we never all that popular, but there is nothing newer/better to replace it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Yes, but the 3" (really 3.5") was newer tech It took time, but the 3.5" supplanted the 5.25". So that case doesn't at all support your case regarding usage of outdated.

Fine! I concede I used the wrong word. Can we drop the discussion now? I trust most people gathered what I was saying (since there are still many .png files online). It's NOT an obsolete standard, just not widely accepted.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Can we drop the discussion now?


Consider it dropped.

It takes two to tango. You could have dropped it yourself at any point.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

However, I tried to replace Photoshop with an excellent $49 Mac alternative, only it WON'T save in .png, nor will many of the default Mac programs (Pages, etc.)


The problem then is that with that specific program you're using. How can it be excellent if it can create images with transparencies and somehow can't save them into a format that preserves them?

By the way which one is it so that I would avoid it.

As for Pages, I can use PNG files in Pages, but of course you can't save as PNG from Pages because Pages is a word processor and not a graphics editor.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

By the way which one is it so that I would avoid it.

Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. They do virtually everything that Photoshop and Illustrator do, only they don't allow you to specify file type when saving files. Fine for normal graphics, but worthless for transparent files.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

They do virtually everything that Photoshop and Illustrator do, only they don't allow you to specify file type when saving files.


Supposedly you can export other formats. There is a confusing issue though discussed in this thread.

https://affinity.serif.com/forum/index.php?/topic/35014-save-as-other-file-formats/?p=171651

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Supposedly you can export other formats. There is a confusing issue though discussed in this thread.

Thanks for the Reference, Lazeez. I'd never heard that, and would never have considered "export" as an alternative to "save as".

However, notice the design team refers to "This is an issue we are looking into," meaning it's a significant complain by most users. As I said, as much as I appreciate the programs, I've been unable to use them as I couldn't save the occasional transparent file (for dividers, html graphics (while don't always appear in Dreamweaver unless they're .png) and graphic chapter headers in books (where you want the underlying page color to show through)).

Now maybe I can finally dump my aging Photoshop (at least on my Mac).

Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

Now maybe I can finally dump my aging Photoshop (at least on my Mac).


I've had good luck with Pixelmator on the Mac over the years.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Michael Loucks

on the Mac over the years.


Over the years I've had a lot of good experience with a Mac, but I usually get it without the pickles or the Mac sauce.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

Now maybe I can finally dump my aging Photoshop (at least on my Mac)


I still use Photoshop CS3 on my system. It came out in 2006. As long as it works well and since I'm not exactly a dedicated graphics artist, I see no reason to change and pay Adobe's exorbitant rental prices.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I still use Photoshop CS3 on my system. It came out in 2006. As long as it works well and since I'm not exactly a dedicated graphics artist, I see no reason to change and pay Adobe's exorbitant rental prices.

I've been using a slightly newer version, but I prefer supporting a cheaper alternative who offers new features, rather than sticking with an older unsupported product that's in decline.

We may not be able to avoid using PS (or M$), but that doesn't mean we need to support or defend them.

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