Alex (yakshaver) wrote,

Graphic arts clue?

I occasionally want to make halfway decent looking web pages. Nothing very sophisticated; the html I learned twelve years ago, when tables were state of the art for layout, has always been sufficient. I've long known css would be better, and would save time in the long run, but I've never done enough web stuff for it to seem worth climbing the learning curve. A couple of nights ago someone on zephyr mentioned mollio, a set of basic open source css stylesheets, endorsing it as "styles that don't suck, out of the box". I took a look and started playing with it, and agreed that they've put together some entirely acceptable generic layouts; I particularly like one of their three-column layouts and have (just barely) started playing with it. The one thing I don't like about it is the color scheme; in particular, the predominance of red. Changing the font colors in the css files was of course trivial (though the blues I replaced the reds with still need some work). I thought changing the colors in the graphics would be trivial too. And it probably is — if you know what you're doing.

The images are both GIFS; the only app I have that can edit GIFs is GraphicConverter, which is really more a format conversion utility than an an interactive graphics editor, so maybe the problem is the program, not the images. When I open them, the only colors in the color pallet are the ones already present in the file, and I can't get another color into them by copy/paste either. I tried converting them to PNGs and had the same issue. Then converted them to JPGs, and I at last had full color pallates available. Unfortunately, replacing the red with blue turns the entire colored area the same shade of blue, losing all the original's shading. (I did this with the bucket tool, which I expect to change pixels of the same color as and contiguous with the pixel I apply it to.)

So, do I just need a real graphics editor, instead of GraphicConverter? If so, can anyone recommend a good free or shareware one? (Mac OS, unix, or Windows, in order of preference.) Is there some other format I should be looking at, perhaps one where the file format is more-or-less human readable and I could alter the colors by editing hex color codes, which is much more my speed than graphics widgets? Or is what I"m trying to do just not as trivial as I thought it was?
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