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Why can't other people see the graphics on my AOL webpage?

This problem stems from an effort by AOL to speed web transfers, conserve
bandwidth, and provide better service to its customer base. In the AOL browser,
there is an option to use "compressed" graphics. What this basically means is
before the image is received by your web browser, AOL tries to compact it and
make it smaller. The space savings is approximately 15% on the average, which
is not significant to a single web user, but is very significant as a portion of
AOL's combined network bandwidth.

When you save an image from the web, if you are using AOL's compressed
graphics, that saved image is not actually the image you requested but the
recompressed image you received. The distinction here is that you are saving
the file with a name that indicates it is in GIF or JPEG format, but it is actually
in a proprietary AOL format (probably some variant of the ART format). As a
result, graphics programs will be unable to load it. (Update: since this problem
was discovered, the AOL web browser under Win3x has begun reporting the file
extension correctly as .ART on a save command, which is helpful to some but
not exactly understandable to all.)

Since the file has been converted to .ART format (even if it's named differently),
only the AOL web browser is able to view it. All other web browsers will be
unable to interpret the file, and will display it as a broken image. The remedy
for this situation is to go into the Preferences of the AOL web browser, and turn
off the "Use Compressed Graphics" option. Following this, you must clear or
"Purge" your web browser's cache, which is located under the "Advanced"
options, and reload the current web page. After this, you will receive all images
in the proper format and maintain compatibility with other browsers.

After you do this, you must find good copies of all the pictures you've got on
your page and upload them all again - I know this is a pain! But if you want the
rest of the world to be able to see your images, it's something that is an absolute
must. There is a way around this though - if you have a Paint program on your
computer like Paint Shop Pro by Jasc you can right-click on the pictures on your
page, select "copy image" and then paste it into the paint program.

Then simply resave it in .jpg or .gif format, and reupload it into your web page
directory. You can always use a different browser (Netscape... use Netscape...)
with your AOL connection, as well. Instructions are available for Windows 3.1
and Windows 95 from Netscape's web site.

Article contributed by Darklock Communications.

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