Touchup - FAQ

Skip down to Q & A


Registering this software removes the green "Shareware" text that is shown when editing an image, and displays the licensee's name when loading an image. Registration is $US 20 for personal sites, commercial prices will vary according to size and type of site, contact me for details. The author reserves the right to refuse registration in certain cases.

Have a question that isn't answered below? Contact me.

What's new in Touchup 3.0?

The keyhole zoom feature (click on magnifying glass) can be used to calculate distances. Just move the mouse to the start of what you want to measure, hit 'D' and move the mouse to the end of what you want to measure. A green line will show the distance you are trying to measure, and the distance is constantly updated as you move the mouse. Perfect for finding out distances on satellite images of the earth, space images (eg: degrees), and Microscope images. Use 'distScale' Applet parameter to set a multiplier for pixel distance, and 'distUnits' to specify the units for distance. For an image of the earth with 4 meters per pixel resolution, use distScale='4' and distUnits='m'. A third Touchup 'mode' has been added, called 'Basic'. Here is a chart of the modes:

No controls (for Web Masters wanting to write their own interface)
Zoom & Info buttons
Edit, Zoom & Info

"Image displayed by Touchup..." will no longer appear on images when using a licensed Applet in view-only mode. A problem in the multi-language feature in certain browsers has been fixed. Loading images now displays the last modified date, and displays a progress graph with estimated remaining load time. Black & White and Saturation filter has been slightly changed to more accurately compute those changes at a gamma typical to home computer monitors. A new Applet Parameter "record" allows an advanced web page author to transmit Touchup settings to a server for storage. A server can create an HTML page containing the appropriate Applet parameters, by using those saved settings, to present the image as it was last shown. This feature is used by Data Futures gives supervisors the ability to make changes for all to see within their Online Traffic Violation system.

What's new in Touchup 2.9?

Touchup now has multi-language support for the main interface. Authors can select or define multiple languages for the user interface, and make any of them the default. Clicking on the Canadian flag will switch from one language to the next. English is always included. Support for relative URL addressing for images has been improved.

What's new in Touchup 2.8a?

EXIF and IPTC details (if present) are now displayed in the Info window when the 'i' button is pressed. See What is EXIF? for details. If the Info detail is a .txt or .html document, then a second window will come up with the details. The user interface has been reworked to be more responsive. Multiple filtering (eg: adjusting both contrast & brightness) has been improved.

What's new in Touchup 2.7?

Touchup can now be registered for personal and small sites. Registering removes the "shareware" text that appears when changing the image, and shows the registration name when loading an image. To handle lengthy text, Picture Information is now displayed in a popup window. Picture Information that starts with http or ends with .txt, .htm, .html will bring up a new browser window using that web address.

What's new in Touchup 2.6?

Touchup now gives feedback while initializing the applet, and loading the image. This gives the visitor a better idea of how long it will take for an image to load. Touchup's mini panel now has an Information button. This allows authors to share additional information about the image to those who are interested. Clicking on the "I" displays this information over the bottom of the image. As with the Description text, \n can be used to force text to a new line. LoadImage calls now include Description, Information, and Low-Res Image parameters. This initial Low-Res Image is stretched to cover the entire applet area and gives the visitor something to look at while the full detail images is loaded. Zooming out will now escape zoom mode when the magnification is reduced to 1. The benchmark has been corrected for accuracy, indicating that Touchup processes up to 18 million pixels per second on a Pentium III/800. Touchup now uses offscreen drawing throughout to better handle quirks in the Java Runtime Environment used by Opera.

What's new in Touchup 2.5?

Touchup's control panel now shows on all browsers, including Netscape with it's special security issues. Older versions of Touchup can work with Netscape if btnpanel.gif is present in the same web directory as Touchup. The Invert button has been replaced by Colors, which gives total control over each of the color channels (red, green and blue). Since applets executing Javascript can cause certain versions of Netscape to crash if Javascript is off, setEntryExitScripts and setClick should be used with caution.

What's new in Touchup 2.4?

Touchup's initial button has been replaced by a mini control panel. The first button brings up the main control panel, the second switches on a zoom mode. Click to zoom in, shift or right-click to zoom out. The zoom keyhole can change size, + to expand, - to shrink. Escape and Backspace exit the zoom mode.

What's new in Touchup 2.3?

To hinder screen copying of images, Touchup can now generate pixel noise. Simply stated, certain pixels of the image are adjusted a small amount to introduce noise throughout the image. This additional detail is difficult for standard JPEG to compress cleanly, so those taking a copy of the image will get a blurry picture. Increase Noise (noiseFrequency) to increase spacing between noise pixels, use the noiseLevel to adjust the strength of the pixel noise. NoiseFrequency of 1 produces a TV scan lines effect, 7 produces vertical lines, and 18 produces a dithered effect. NoiseLevel works just like Brightness, the default of -30 makes the noise pixels slightly darker than the surrounding pixels. Noise pixels can be lined up vertically or staggered, spacing varies from 1-4 lines, horizontal spacing increases as the noiseFrequency is increased. Zoom in to take a closer look at what's going on. Touchup can now move the image horizontally and vertically to allow cropping. For example, set Horizontal and Vertical to -10 and make the applet 20 pixels smaller than the image to crop it by 10 pixels on each edge.

What's new in Touchup 2.2?

To support a wider range of browsers, Touchup now displays context sensitive help in it's own status area, immediately below the controls. This removes the need for the Touchup Help Page. The Help Button now takes the user to the Touchup Web Site.

What's new in Touchup 2.1?

Touchup now has the ability to display a lengthy text description for the image. The description is draw immediately above the image, the text and background colors are user-defined. See the "setDesc" JavaScript call, "descText", "descFgColor" and "descBgColor" parameters for details.

What's new in Touchup 2.0?

The text button based interface has been replaced by icons. Instead of adjusting by a fixed amount, changes can be made by clicking on a scale. As before, the status bar displays a description when the mouse is over a button. "more" and "less" JavaScript calls, like moreRed, have been removed. "entryScript" and "exitScript" parameters set scripts that are run when the mouse enters and exits the image.

What's new in Touchup 1.5?

"Image displayed by Touchup" text is no longer shown on images, unless view-only mode is specified. Previous versions labeled gamma controls as "Brighten" and "Darken". These functions have been renamed "Gamma+" and "Gamma-", and now "Brighten" and "Darken" appear under advanced controls and perform their traditional function. Descriptions for each button are displayed in the status bar of the browser.

What's new in Touchup 1.4?

Touchup's now has the ability to mirror, flip and rotate an image in 90 degree increments. The "Sync Images" button is no longer displayed by default, use the applet parameter "showSync" to show it. See Parameters for details. To simplify the interface, some of the features displayed in the Advanced mode will now only show up in the color mode. To simplify page authoring, filter parameters have been extended to three levels: Platform (gamma), Image (red, green, blue, gamma, contrast, saturation), and Viewer (all adjustments). Settings at each level can be manipulated independently. The text "Unlicensed" has been replaced with "Shareware", future plans include the ability to license Touchup.

What's new in Touchup 1.3?

Touchup's color filters have been squeezed for every bit of performance, further speed increases are unlikely. An 800 MHz Pentium III running Windows 98 should filter up to 12.5 million pixels per second. Note that saturation changes reduce this to 2 million pixels per second. Screen updates are smoother. Web page authors can write javascript to execute when the mouse is clicked, see 'clickTitle' and 'clickScript'. Authors can also add a user-defined button to perform virtually any function, see 'btnTitle' and 'btnScript'.

What's new in Touchup 1.2?

Touchup's color filters have been further optimized for even faster and better results. An 800 MHz Pentium III running Windows 98 should filter up to 7 million pixels per second. Note that saturation changes reduce this to 2 million pixels per second. Posterization, which reduces the number of colors in an image, has been added. This feature can be used adjust the image so that it looks good on the screen, but a print-screen snapshot won't give you the quality of the original image.

What's new in Touchup 1.1?

Touchup can now change images (and hyperlinks) under the control of JavaScript, see main page for an example. See JavaScript under loadImage for details. For improved results, Brightness is now computed using Gamma. For clarity, Alpha is now the level of transparency, from 0 (opaque) to 1 (alpha color only). As before, values between 0 and 1 will be a mix of image and the alpha color. The histogram now displays gray scale or color channel information.

What support is there for multiple languages?

Select and download a language file, or define your own. To define your own language file, copy the English file and translate it line by line. The file must be named "touchuplanguage2.txt", and can be used as default by adding <PARAM NAME="secondarylanguage" VALUE="on">. Additional languages can be added by naming files "touchuplanguage3.txt", "touchuplanguage4.txt", etc. While you can define other languages, English will always be available. Clicking on the Canadian Flag (on the second row of buttons, near the end) switches to the next language.

The demo galleries don't seem to work, what's wrong?

If the applet comes up, but the custom buttons (the ones outside the applet) don't work then check to make sure that JavaScript is enabled on your browser. However, this is a known applet-javascript problem if you are on a Macintosh and using Mac OS X. Nothing can be done until Microsoft, Sun and Applet update their software. If the applet doesn't come up at all, try this Java example from the book Core Web Programming. Clicking on the Start button should begin to cover the three white areas with random spots. If it doesn't work then check to make sure that you have Java and JavaScript enabled in your browser. If you do, then it's probably a problem with the Java Runtime Environment. You may need to download a new JRE from Sun's Java Site. If more recent versions take too long to download, JRE version 1.1 is all that Touchup requires. You can find out your browser version, etc, with this Browser Test. If the Core Web Programming example works and you have problems with Touchup, contact the author with details (Operating System, version, browser, etc).

What is EXIF? What is IPTC?

EXIF and IPTC details are both extended picture information inserted into standard JPEG files. Files with this information can be used by any standard JPEG reading program, but not all programs will retain this information when saving. EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) details are normally added by a digital camera when download images. EXIF details include things like Make, Model, Exposure, F-stop, Date/Time, Exposure Bias, Metering Mode, Light Source, Flash and Focal Length. This information can be useful when trying to duplicate results, as it's a record of how a photo was taken. Canon has taken this one step further and will use this detail to improve printout quality with their Easy Photo Print and Exif Print software. IPTC data standard is defined by the International Press Telecommunications Council. It includes a number of data fields for location, caption, credit, subject, keywords, etc. However, unlike EXIF each data field is a string and the information is manually entered. IPTC data is commonly pulled from image files and used to build image databases. Examples of EXIF and IPTC extraction can be seen in the second demo gallery of Touchup, by viewing the 3rd and 4th images and clicking on the 'i' button.

What kind of adjustments can be made?

You can adjust the brightness (gamma), contrast, saturation, alpha, the amount of red, green, blue, control each color channel (invert, void or default), invert the image (negative), or make it black and white.

What is Posterization?

Posterization is the reduction of color levels in an image and is another method of protecting your work. To prevent visitors from turning off posterization, you need to set the mode to "view" or "basic". The fewer color levels, the farther in quality from the original image. Posterization set to "2" will result in 2 levels in each of the 3 colors channels, for a total of 8 colors. The effects of posterization are more prominent in evenly toned areas, such as sky. If a visitor takes a screen snapshot and saves the result to a JPEG file, the "grain" introduced by posterization will be emphasized resulting in a poor copy. This is a tradeoff between the level of protection and the image quality you want to show visitors, start with a posterization level somewhere between 8 and 16. The histogram gives a good overall pictures as to how the image is changed with this feature.

What's with the new Platform gamma?

Introduced in version 1.4, Touchup now has three levels of settings:
Platform: gamma
Image: red, green, blue, gamma, contrast, saturation
Viewer: all above settings including color channels, invert, black and white, posterization, etc.
The displayed image is the result of combining all these settings. The displayed numeric settings are for the viewer level. Generated HTML code values are a combination of the Image and Viewer levels. The separation into three levels permits changes in one level, while retaining the settings in the others. Platform gamma is set with the setPlatformGammaCompensation call.

What does "Sync Images" do?

After you've made adjustments to brightness, contrast, etc, you can make the same changes in all other Touchup images on the page by using the "Sync Images" button. See the "Notes" section for Netscape issues.

What's the purpose of "Negative"?

While detail in the brighter sections of the image is usually distinct, it can be difficult to see detail in darker areas. Negative allows you to do this. It is helpful in specialized areas such as Astronomical Photography; stars and planetary nebulae can be more apparent when inverted.

What does "Alpha" do?

Alpha sets the transparency of the image, Alpha=0 just shows the image. Alpha=1 shows the alpha color, set by the "alphacolor" parameter. Values between 0 and 1 shows a mix of both. This can be used to blend an image with the background of a web page.

Anything special about Black and White?

The color channels are taken into account when producing the black and white image. For example, you could set the color channel values to red=1, green=0, and blue=0 to produce a black and white image just from the red color information.

Why would I need to adjust the amount of Red, Green or Blue in an image?

Early digital cameras were less sensitive to certain colors, causing the image to have a slight tint. Or you may want to correct for the tint caused by a filter on the lens of your camera. For those scanning prints, you may want to second-guess the photo lab's color correction, or correct for the affects of aging.

Why not use an image editor?

Unless you have large, low-compression originals of your images, adjusting them with a traditional image editor will lose fine detail. This happens because of the detail losing nature of JPEG compression used in .jpg files that makes image files small and quick to load.

How do I add the code onto my page?

Just set up a basic applet call as shown below, and change "EnglishBay.jpg" to the name of your image file. View the page, make your changes and click on the "HTML" button. A new window will come up with the HTML code required to display the image with your adjustments. Copy and paste that code onto your web page, and adjust the height and width if you do not wish the image to be shown full size.

<APPLET STYLE="LEFT: 0px; WIDTH: 600px; TOP: 0px; HEIGHT: 400px" NAME=Touchup CODE="Touchup.class" ARCHIVE="Touchup.jar" WIDTH=600 HEIGHT=400>
   <PARAM NAME="image" VALUE="EnglishBay.jpg">

Why else should I use Touchup?

Touchup can place sharp text of the copyright or other information on top of the image. If text is added to a JPEG image in an editor, JPEG compression can make the text look blurred. This text can become unreadable if the image is resized.

What do my visitors get out of this?

When preparing images for web pages, you usually correct them for viewing on your system. The problem is that not every system is the same, Macintosh monitors are configured to a darker standard than a PC. Viewing environments will differ, some will even be in bright sunlight. Touchup allows the visitor to adjust the image on your page to what looks right to them, on the system they use and where they happen to be.

How do I stop visitors from changing how things look?

Just call up the applet with the parameter "mode" set to "view", or "basic" to allow changes in brightness and contrast.

I have a page with 10 images, what then?

The Sync button adjusts all other images to the same settings as the current image. In addition, the interface to Touchup is completely exposed. For example, you could easily add single a button to your page that makes all 10 images 20% brighter though JavaScript.

What about hyperlinks?

Touchup lets you add a link to an absolute URL address, such at "", or a relative address. As in HTML, you can also specify the target window or frame for the link. Holding down the shift key will bring the link up in a new browser window, the standard shift-click link behavior in MS Explorer.

What can be done about thieves that check out the Browser's file cache?

Current implementations of Java do not load image files into the browser cache, so this is not a problem with Touchup. In addition, Touchup will read JPEG files, regardless of their name. While a thief may take something called "Lake_Sunset.jpg", they'll probably skip something called "A20010831b.lxr".

How much memory does Touchup use?

The Touchup applet is fairly small, about 80KB and most browsers will load it once per Internet session. This is comparable to an average sized JPEG image. Touchup's memory usage depends on the size of the images it works on. For each image, it uses two 4 * imageWidth * imageHeight byte image buffers. So, for a 300x200 pixel image, it would use 360,000 bytes or 352KB.

Won't it take more time to download the page?

Browsers cache files, including Java applets. After the first Touchup image, the visitor's browser should not need to download the applet again for the rest of the visit. See notes on caching.

How fast is Touchup?

Touchup filters up to 12 million pixels per second on a 800 MHz Pentium III running Windows 98 with Explorer 6. An average 600x400 image is 240,000 pixels and will take a small fraction of a second to process. Netscape is about the same speed.

How do I get rid of the Touchup copyright text?

The Touchup copyright notice appears on each image when the control panel is up. You can remove the copyright notice by licensing Touchup. See the Download page for details.

How can I put something to the right of the applet?

By default, anything following the applet code will appear immediately beneath. If you want some text or another applet to appear to the immediate right of an applet, include "ALIGN=LEFT" just before the end of the <APPLET> tag.

Can I place Touchup in a popup window?

This isn't a good idea, due to a fault in Netscape's pre version 6 Java Virtual Machine (which actually runs Java applets). Closing a window containing any Java applet will sometimes cause Netscape to freeze. Touchup has additional code to reduce the chances of this, but it cannot completely fix the problem. There are no known problems with Explorer or Netscape 6 and above.

How can I disable the Explorer 6 image toolbar?

To disable the Explorer 6 image toolbar without Touchup, place the following in the header of the HTML for your page:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="imagetoolbar" CONTENT="no">
Alternatively, set the attribute GALLERYIMG="no" within the IMG tag for each image.

How can I disable right-clicks?

To disable right-clicks without Touchup, add this JavaScript to your page.


Unlike a normal image editor, you can try as many changes as you like and still get a high quality result. This is because all adjustments are generated from the original image.
Netscape 4 requires at least a <BR> between two Touchup Applets or they may draw on top of each other. Tables may also be used to keep them separate.
If the viewer's browser does not properly implement the Java getApplets call (eg: Netscape), the "Sync Images" button is not shown. This works fine in Explorer, which accounts for 87% of visitors as of Sept 2001.
Explorer 6 does not cache JPEG images loaded via Java, but Netscape 4 does. Unfortunately this means that if you use the same image in two touchup applets on a given page, Explorer will load the image over the Internet twice.


Browser News user stats

Tested with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 & 6, Netscape Navigator 4 and Opera 6.01, which accounts for nearly 95% (as of Sept 2001) of Internet users.