NewDeal Hot Tip 1211

[Hot Tips for...] NewDraw

Using Bitmaps and Scanned Images

NewDraw and Scrapbook provide import of several different graphics formats. This article discusses some of the formats in detail and contains information about using bitmap IMAGES in general.

While NewDeal does not provide scanner drivers, your scanner probably came with software that will save scans in file formats that can be imported to NewDeal.

About DPI Resolution

The internal format of bitmaps in NewDeal allows for the specification of the bitmap in dots per inch (DPI). If the information is provided in the format we are importing from (PCX and TIF can include DPI information, but GIF cannot, for example), then the information will be retained in NewDeal. If you scan something that is 4x4 inches at 300 dpi, the bitmap is a square 1200 pixels on a side. NewDeal will account for the resolution when displaying the picture, so it will appear to be 4 inches square in your document. None of the data is thrown out, so when you print on a laser printer at 300 dpi, all of the data the scanner puts out will appear on the printed page.


TIF (sometimes called TIFF) stands for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF is actually not a single format, but comprises several different possible formats. The word "tagged" refers to the fact that the file contains a code or tag that tells your software exactly how the image is stored. This makes TIFF very flexible, but also complex. There are literally hundreds of different versions of TIFF and no software package can read them all. A TIFF file can contain more than one image in different formats, each one with its own tag, and can even include vector IMAGES instead of bitmaps.

TIFF files can also be saved in a compressed format but still retain the TIF extension. Here is some advice on what to try if you have trouble importing TIFF files.

Make sure that your IMAGES are in 256 colors or fewer format. Also make sure that your scanner software or other graphics software is set to save uncompressed TIFF IMAGES. After doing this, if you still can't import your TIFF files, try converting to or saving as PCX in your other software before importing to NewDeal.


GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, IMAGES have a maximum depth of 256 colors and do not contain any DPI information. It is rare when a GIF file will not import into NewDeal.


BMP and PCX files can have color depths greater than 256. In order to import a BMP or PCX file, the color depth must be no greater than 256 and the format must not be compressed. If you encounter a BMP or PCX file that NewDeal will not import, you must open it in a different graphics software and save it again uncompressed and with 256 colors or fewer.


CGM is an acronym for Computer Graphics Metafile. Marcus Groeber, a programmer for Breadbox Computers, has created a CGM import utility which he distributes as shareware. This importer dithers colors outside of the 16-color IBM palette.

Hijaak will convert CGM to PCX very nicely with a lot of different options you can set. The drawback is that Hijaak costs as much as $100, which may or may not be worth it to you. Graphic Workshop will convert most graphic formats you are likely to come across, unfortunately CGM is not one of them.

Another option is to use a program like VCGM or MetaScan, available for download on the Internet and some online services. These will display CGM files on screen where you can save them to a bitmap file format with a screen capture program.

If you have Geoworks Pro or Quick Start and Quattro Pro, you may be able to import the CGM image into Quattro Pro, then save it as an EPS file and import it into Geoworks Pro or Quick Start via the Spreadsheet Viewer.


CLP is actually a catch-all format that is basically a dump of whatever is in the Windows clipboard. It can contain bitmaps, vectors, or even text. It can even hold several resolutions of a bitmap. NewDeal will import CLP files that contain bitmaps with 256 or fewer colors. If you have trouble importing a CLP, try converting it to .BMP or another supported format before you import it.

Quattro Pro's .CLP files are not the same as Windows .CLP files. The files shipped with Quattro Pro SE that have a .CLP extension are some sort of internal Borland format and are not real Windows-compatible CLP files. NewDeal import code can't deal with these files.

White Space

Some bitmap files contain large margins of white space around the image. For example, if you place an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper into a page scanner, the entire page may be digitized. In other words, all the white space surrounding whatever picture is on the page is digitized, too, and turned into pixels that are white. These white pixels are included as part of the bitmap file.

In general, there are three ways to remove this white space:

Cropping is the most common way to eliminate unwanted white space from a bitmap image. To crop an image, you define the section of the image you want to save, usually by dragging a rectangle around that portion, and then everything outside the rectangle is eliminated. NewDraw has a cropping tool that works well for low resolution IMAGES of 72 dpi. Before using it for 300+ dpi IMAGES, be sure that Bitmap Format shows the correct values for your image. Instead of using NewDraw, you could crop the image in your scanner's software, if available, or bring it into some other graphics program like Graphics Workshop or PaintShop Pro (both available for download on the Internet), crop it, save it, and then import it into NewDeal.
Some softwares have the ability to turn all the white in an image to transparent. NewDraw can do this for two-color IMAGES, but it requires a number of steps. A drawback is that white areas within the image are made transparent, as well as the white margin.
Some softwares offer masking (masque) tools which can be used to select specific portions of a bitmap image as cut outs which you can then copy and paste elsewhere in the same or another file. NewDraw offers a function called Paste Inside, which can serve as a masking tool. This has the effect of cutting out all white space, or any part of an image, that you do not want. Try the Paste Inside function, pasting into an unfilled, unruled rectangle sized to fit that part of the image you want to keep. A benefit of Paste Inside is that you can retrieve your original, full-sized image at any time, just by choosing the Breakout Paste Inside option.

Large Bitmaps

If you use enough large bitmaps in NewDraw or the draw layer in NewDeal applications, it is possible to run out of conventional memory, or, in some cases, even to cause NewDeal to crash. Large is defined as one-third the size of the normal 640x480 VGA screen when in 100% View mode or about 430x320 pixels.

In each new version of the software, our engineers have improved the system memory management to make it handle large bitmaps and large documents more robustly, so we recommend upgrading to the newest version.

It may help to increase your free conventional memory as much as possible before running NewDeal. Among the operations most likely to cause trouble are converting bitmaps between monochrome and color, and converting bitmap resolutions from 72 dpi to 300 dpi.

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Last Modified 2 Mar 1999