Choosy CompuServe’s choose GIFs

Choosy CompuServe’s choose GIFs

CompuServe’s choose GIFs

GIF is a file format used to create many of the graphics images found in CompuServe graphics libraries. Pronounced “jiff,” GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format.
GIF files are popular among CompuServe’s because they can be created and viewed on all major computer platforms, including DOS, Windows, and Macintosh. Also, when compared with graphics formats such as BMP and PCX, GIF files are quite efficient. They take up less disk space and can be downloaded faster than files in other formats.

Although CompuServe can display GIF files automatically, you may want to obtain a separate Windows- or DOS-based GIF viewer program to use outside CompuServe. You can find dozens of these types of programs in the Graphics Support Forum (GO GRAPHSUP). The following files are just a few of those available:
  1. CVIEW.ZIP (Color View), a shareware Windows viewer
  2. DCVW21.ZIP (Color View), a shareware DOS viewer
  3. MMK10.ZIP, a freeware Windows viewer
  4. OVIP1.ZIP, a shareware DOS viewer
  5. PWVIEW.ARC, a Macintosh viewer
  6. QGIF.SIT (Quick GlF), a shareware Macintosh viewer
  7. REVEAL.ZIP, an SVGA-capable DOS viewer VPIC.ZIP, a DOS viewer
  8. WINGIF.ZIP (WinG1F), a shareware Windows viewer
  9. WINVIE.ZIP (Win View), a Windows viewer
  10. PS.ZIP (Paint Shop Pro), a shareware Windows viewer (This is my personal favorite; it handles Gil:, JPG, PCX, and 32 other graphic formats.)

If you want more information about these viewers, go to the Graphics Support Forum and download or view the files PROGS.IBM (for DOS and Windows viewers), PROGS.MAC (for Macintosh viewers), or PROGS.TXT (for viewers for other types of computers).

Other file types are supported in specific graphics forums. For example, the Graphics Plus Forum prides itself for its support of higher-resolution images, including those in JPG and EPS formats. (The JPG format is also very popular on the Internet.) You should be able to find viewers for these file formats in the forum at GO GRAPHPLUS.

While GIF is the current standard for graphics on CompuServe, CompuServe is trying to establish a new standard—the PNG format. PNG graphics can be compressed smaller than GIF files can, but with better resolution. So far this format has been slow to catch on; however, CompuServe 3.0 is PNG-capable in case you encounter any PNG files.

If you want to see a more complete description of a file, click the Description icon. To download the file to your computer, click the Retrieve button. You are asked to name the file you’re about to download and to specify the directory on your hard disk that you want to download it to. Specify the name and directory and click Save, and the file is downloaded automatically to your hard disk.


You can also choose to download a file at a later time. Just select the file, click the Retrieve Later icon, and respond to the question of where the file should be saved. Then you’re free to go about your business. When you return and want to download the file, click the To-Do List button on the main toolbar, and click the Process Next button. This is a great way to make the most of your online time and to postpone downloading delays.