Common computer image formats such as the JPG format have the ability to display millions of colours in a single image file. However, this may sometimes be more than you need; for example, suppose that you are creating a screenshot from a computer application or a small button for a website. Many of these images may have just a few colours. Convert an image to 8-bit colour using Microsoft Paint to dither the image down to 256 colours and reduce its file size.
- Skill level:
Open the Start menu. Type "Paint" in the "Search programs and files" field at the bottom of the menu, and wait for "Paint" to appear on the result list.
Click the "Paint" icon to launch Microsoft Paint.
Click the blue button in the upper-left corner of the Paint window, and then click "Open." Locate the picture that you want to convert to 8-bit colour, and double-click it.
Click the "Save as type" menu at the bottom of the "Save As" menu, and select "GIF" or "256 Color Bitmap." The file size of a bitmap image is slightly larger than the size of a GIF image. However, the two formats use slightly different methods of dithering down to 8-bit colour, so you may want to try both formats.
Click the "Save" button.
Click "Yes" when Microsoft Paint notifies you that the colour quality of the image may be reduced.
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