Use the Picture Tool to incorporate graphics and illustrations into your publication. Just about any paint or drawing program can be used to create images that can be imported into VisualNEO for Windows. Compatible image formats include BMP, JPEG, GIF, PCX, PNG, TIFF, ICO and WMF.


Note: If you want to create your own image files, there are a variety of programs available that are designed for this purpose. (One such program is PixelNEO® for Windows, from the makers of VisualNEO for Windows. A trial copy of PixelNEO can be found on your VisualNEO for Windows CD.)


To import a Picture, use the mouse to draw a rectangle where you would like the object to appear. A file selector will be displayed, allowing you to select a compatible image file. Once a file is selected, the Picture object will appear on your publication. You can modify the object’s properties by right clicking the object. The Picture Properties screen will be displayed, allowing you to define the object’s appearance and behavior.


The Picture Properties screen is divided into three sections indicated by the icon images on the left: General, Appearance and Actions. To view the settings for a section, click the corresponding icon.


General

The Image File field contains the name of the file displayed by this object. Even though you’ve imported the file into your publication, it’s still an external file. Edit the file outside of VisualNEO for Windows and changes will automatically appear in your publication. The file will be bound inside the publication only during the Compile stage. To the right of the field are three small buttons: click the button to select a different file;  experienced authors can use the button to perform advanced file options or the button to replace the file name with a variable.


Appearance

You can control how the image will appear by selecting one of the following Display Mode options:


Actual Size

The image will be displayed exactly as it was drawn. If the image is larger than the space provided, you can add Scroll bars to the Picture object. When the Allow mouse to pan image option is enabled, readers can scroll images by clicking and dragging the center of the Picture. Enable the Resize object to match image dimensions option to automatically size the Picture object to the width and height of the image file. If the image is smaller than the space available, you can enable the Center image option to center it within the Picture object.

Stretch

The image will be stretched to fit the dimensions of the Picture object. Enable the Maintain aspect ratio option to restrict the stretching so that the original width to height proportions of the image are maintained. For best results, enable the Use high quality resampling option to scale the image using interpolation and averaging. This process can be slightly slower than the normal stretch method, which simply expands the picture by enlarging some of the image's pixels.

Auto

The image will be displayed actual size when it will fit within the bounds of the Picture object and stretched when it will not.

Tile

If the image is smaller than the space available, it will be duplicated (tiled) as many times as needed to fill the Picture object. Both the Horizontal and Vertical options tile the image in only one direction, while Normal option tiles the image in both directions.



The Magnification option (available in Actual Size mode only) can be used to enlarge or reduce the size of the image. A value of 100% displays the image in its original size. Values less than 100% make the image smaller, while values greater than 100% make the image larger.


You can designate a portion of the image as transparent by clicking the small arrow button next to the Transparent color box. VisualNEO for Windows will prompt you to select a color to serve as the transparent portion of the image. The background will show through pixels in the image matching this color.


Move the Opacity slider to the left to allow a portion of the background to show through the image. The further to the left you move the slider, the more of the background will be visible. This is often called an alpha channel transparency effect. To display the image in its normal solid form, move the slider all the way to the right. The opacity option is only available in 16 million color modes.


Note: In order for the page background to show through the transparent portions of the image, you may also need to set the Picture object’s Fill Pattern to Hollow using the controls on the Style Palette.


Actions

Pictures support the following Action Events: Click, Right Click, Mouse Enter and Mouse Exit. Click the appropriate tab at the bottom of the Action Editor to create or edit Actions for the events you want to control. See Understanding Actions and Variables and Action Command Reference for a complete discussion of the Action Editor and Action Commands.


Note: When the “Allow mouse to pan image” option is enabled for a Picture object that contains a Click Action, the pan event will be handled before the Click Action is executed.