Department of Agricultural Communication
Purdue University

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February 2001

This Issue


Fit Your Graphics Files to Your Purpose

"JPEGs." "TIFs." "EPS" files. Maybe you've heard of them. They are terms for the different kinds of files that contain photos and artwork in today's digital world. While these terms may seem like Greek to you, it's important to know their differences if you use your computer to prepare presentation visuals, Web graphics, or material that will be printed on paper.

Artwork can exist in each of these three file formats, but which form you need will depend on the final use of the file. The following simple guidelines can help you make the right decisions.

JPEGs. These are files that end with ".jpg" in the file name (e.g., "sunrise.jpg"). This low-to-medium resolution format is best used for on-screen viewing. Photos saved as JPEGs look good on your monitor, but the files do not contain the high-res data needed for printed pieces.

TIFs. People using PCs and Microsoft software for publishing find that these files are easy to use for printing to office printers. Depending on your publishing software, TIFs work very well and yield graphics of sufficiently high resolution to satisfy most people. In most cases, TIFs are smaller in file size than their EPS counterparts.

EPS. With an EPS file, you are stepping into the high-end, high-quality publishing world. If you prepare a publication for a commercial printer, JPEG or TIF files won't get you satisfactory results. They just don't contain enough data. Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is the language that commercial printing equipment uses, and photos/artwork saved in this format assure trouble-free compatibility.

"Okay," you may be saying. "Because EPS files contain the most data, I'll just save all my graphic files in EPS. It's better to be safe than sorry." But if you do that, you will be sorrier than you think. EPS files are very large and take a long time to load, which is an important consideration in a presentation or on the Web, and TIF files are not much better in that regard.

That's why it's always better to fit your files to your final purpose. For more information on resolution and on why and how size counts when it comes to digital graphics, see "Don't Overstretch Your Digital Images" in the November/December a2000 issue of "On Target" http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/ontarget/archive/ot12_00.html

Russ Merzdorf <merzdorf@purdue.edu>

Steve Cain <cain@purdue.edu>

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Never Say "I'm Sorry" in Your Speeches

To me, good public speaking means never (or rarely) having to say, "I'm sorry." (Apologies to Erich Segal for adapting his famous line from "Love Story.")

Before you think I favor being an arrogant or discourteous speaker, let me explain. I've heard people apologizing for too much during their speeches or presentations, and I believe it hurt their credibility. Besides, there are ways to acknowledge problems or avoid them that don't require eating humble pie.

For example, don't apologize for the quality of your visual presentation or of your thoughts. First, respect your audience and prepare appropriately. Remember, not every speech for every occasion has to be a masterpiece. Simply make your talk appropriate for your resources, your audience, and the occasion.

And when you're asked to speak at the spur of the moment, such as when a topic comes up at a meeting and you're the recognized authority, you obviously don't have to apologize for lack of preparation. Your audience will know the context and will understand.

Mistakes? We're all human. If it's a serious mistake that conveys incorrect information or an incorrect perception, correct it, and move on. Don't make too big a deal of it.

Speaking of mistakes, jokes can be an apology waiting to happen. Never tell a joke that you have not tested beforehand with the appropriate people. Unwise, untested jokes can cause damage even the sincerest "I'm sorry" can't undo.

What if you're late because of circumstances beyond your control? If you apologize in cases like this and take blame for things that aren't your fault, you reduce yourself in the eyes of your audience. Consider your audience and how much they have been inconvenienced. Go with something like: "I'm extremely happy to finally be here with you today. My flight was delayed in Chicago due to fog. I appreciate your patience. Without more delay, I'll proceed."

What if you were misinformed by the host? This one is really tricky for me because I don't want to look like a dummy, but I certainly don't want to make the host look like a dummy, either. My suggestion is to use words that make the situation less personal. Try something like: "There's been a switch in the plans, but that's okay." If you're really good, you can move right along and nobody will be the wiser.

I've tried to incorporate this "never having to say 'I'm sorry'" philosophy into my speeches, and I believe it has made me a more effective speaker. I think it will help you, too.

For more on effective public speaking from "On Target," go to and look for the January, February, and May issues of 2000; the September and November issues of 1999; and the March issue of 1998.

Steve Cain <cain@purdue.edu>

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Grammar Trap:Advice vs. Advise

"Advice" is a noun, and its last consonant sound is "sss." "Advise" is a verb, and its last consonant sound is "zzz."

The noun means a recommendation about behavior of
some kind. The verb means the act of giving such a recommendation.

Examples: The advice I gave him was to stop chewing his food with his mouth open. I advise
you to stop chewing your food with your mouth open.

Seems simple, right? But the problem is that some people forget which word is which when they are writing.

There's no tip to help you distinguish between "advice" and "advise" more easily when you write. It's one of those things you've just got to remember.

Thanks to
Judy Myers-Walls (CDFS), who gave me this suggestion. If there's a grammar (or usage) trap you'd like me to discuss, or if you have a tip that will help the rest of us avoid one, please let me know.

Visit <../grammartrap/index.html> for past "Grammar Traps."

Laura Hoelscher <lah@purdue.edu>

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