GIF Prep

GIF Prep is a free utility that solves a pervasive, but easily fixed, problem for Macintosh users creating Web graphics. The problem is the difficulty determining the true size of your GIF (and JPEG) graphics because of the dual nature of the Macintosh file system.

GIF Prep is now on version 2.0 which adds support for MacOS X

GIF Prep is nothing more than a Macintosh resource fork stripping utility, and is included in the archives for most of our Macintosh Web graphics tools. GIF Prep was originally created with very minimal effort - it is not fancy at all - to answer one of the most frequent questions we have ever been asked. Why does the Finder say my file is bigger than your software says it is?

The answer to that question is the Macintosh uses a file system that references two separate files, one called a "resource fork" and one called a "data fork", as a single file visible on your desktop.

In the "data fork" of a Macintosh file is your cross-platform GIF or JPEG file. Anything in the "resource fork" is Macintosh, application specific fluff. Depending on what method was used to create your graphic, there may be nothing in the "resource fork" or more data than is in your actual GIF or JPEG file in the "data fork" of your Macintosh file. This is especially true of files created using file format plugins, such as our PhotoGIF and ProJPEG, in Photoshop, which is why we created GIF Prep.

Once you drop a GIF or JPEG file onto GIF Prep, the resource fork is stripped, and the true file size for purposes of the Web will be reported by the Finder.

GIF Prep does not actually change the GIF or JPEG data in any way. It only makes it easier to tell how large your GIF and JPEG files are, so we get asked a still frequent question less.

Download GIF Prep now. It's free. Grab some other great Web design tools from BoxTop while you're at it.

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Recent Updates

1/30/2008 - GIFmation 2.5 released for Macintosh and Windows.

GIFmation 2.5 provides native support for MacIntel and provides better support for Vista. Get it here for Mac or here for Windows.

5/21/2007 - PhotoGIF 4.0.2 released for Macintosh

We still had some kinks with 4.0.1 so here is PhotoGIF for Macintosh 4.0.2 which addresses some problems with the plugin loading properly in some cases as well as a problem with the splash screen. Enjoy, and we would like to thank the users who take the time to let us know they are experiencing problems so that we can fix them.

5/19/2007 - BoxTop website receives a makeover.

The look is mainly the same, but the internal structure of the site has been made much more dynamic and maintainable for our own personal convenience. Thanks to jQuery and PHP for making our lives easier.

4/23/2007 - PhotoGIF 4.0.1 released for Macintosh

PhotoGIF 4.0.1 is a maintenance release. It fixes a problem in Photoshop CS2 which could leave menu items disabled after using PhotoGIF. You can download it here.

2/25/2007 - PhotoGIF 4.0 for Macintosh and Windows released

PhotoGIF 4.0 add action support, resizeable previews, and MacOS X support.  Find out more here or download for Macintosh or Windows.

Really Nifty Fan Mail

"I use ProJPEG everyday and find it to make the smallest JPEG files around. Every once in a while I try to do JPEGs in ImageReady, but the files just aren't as small... love your software!" - James Moehrke

"I have to tell you that I have both Adobe ImageReady and ProJPEG and get by far the best results from ProJPEG!!" - Tina Manley

"In case It isn't obvious, I can't sing the praises of ProJPEG highly enough. I'll testify any time. This is gear." - Richard Montoya

"I own both PhotoGIF and ProJPEG and they both kick major butt! (ImageWho? ... FireWhat?)" - Rich Tisdale

"Let me say that I LOVE ImageVice. Talk about speed savings. I smashed a banner from 13k to 3k with no quality loss! I swoon. I've even had some graphics come out measured in bytes. I swoon again!" - Raquel Stewart

"Take away my ColorSafe and my ProJPEG, and I quit the whole business." - Jill Morton

"You can't believe how I enjoy working with your software. Since my agency purchased GIFmation & PhotoGIF, I don't have a single problem building animated gifs." - Jah Fish

"Thank you for suppling my registration number so quickly. I really like what you've done with PhotoGIF. I feel like I'm squeezing every bit of extraneous stuff out of my images." - Tom Fleming

"Just had to let you know how great your product works for me!. I just started using PhotoGIF and ImageVice this afternoon. The results are wonderful!!!, great!!!!, and everything you claim. I'm sorry that I did not find out about you sooner." - Rick Jetmar

"Your products kick some real butt! I have not ever used a better gif tool than GIFmation or PhotoGIF; the color management and compression is simply phenomenal."" - Anthony Hill Simione

"Thank you Travis, keep up the good work, I am finding GIFmation to be a most killer app." - Jennifer Stock

"I'm impressed with GIFmation, and I'm impressed with the support you've been able to offer. I'll definitely be passing this along to others I know who are doing web site development." - Conni Schaftenaar

"GIFmation is a top-notch program and I am recommending it to all my clients (among other things, I teach designers how to add Web site development to their skill set). Excellent, excellent work." - Marco Temaner

"Just had the chance to put your new ImageVice demo through it's paces. AWESOME!! ImageVice did a better job of dithering the colors and reducing palette size than I had been able to manually editing the color table, and in less time." - Bill Martin

"Let me say that I LOVE ImageVice. Talk about speed savings. I smashed a banner from 13k to 3k with no quality loss! I swoon. I've even had some graphics come out measured in bytes. I swoon again!" - Raquel Stewart

"Take away my ColorSafe and my ProJPEG, and I quit the whole business." - Jill Morton

"I own both PhotoGIF and ProJPEG and they both kick major butt! (ImageWho? ... FireWhat?)" - Rich Tisdale

"You can't believe how I enjoy working with your software. Since my agency purchased GIFmation & PhotoGIF, I don't have a single problem building animated gifs." - Jah Fish

"WOW! Thank you! The savings were HUGE on images sliced and 'optimized' with ImageReady (69% savings from SuperGIF on one image!) This is a great product, especially for v. 1.0. I can now take advantage of ImageReady's slicing and HTML features and still get tiny file sizes." - Julie Lewis

"You guys are doing a great job and your software is awesome, thanks for SuperGIF." - Brian Bowman.

"After playing with SuperGIF, I'm impressed and plan to get a copy." - John Manning

"I used ColorSafe and DitherBox side by side this weekend. ColorSafe CONSISTENTLY outperformed DitherBox. Period. It's initial color matching was much more accurate!" - George Napier

Got a question? Ask us at info@boxtopsoft.com