WWW FAQs: I have files in ART format. How do I convert them to JPEG?

2006-07-25: If you have America Online, and America Online's image compression feature is enabled, then images you save from the web will be saved in a special format called ART even if they claim to be JPEG files. As a result, only America Online can see them. See the article Why do images keep saving in ART format? for details on how to stop this annoying behavior.

But what about images that are already in ART format? Is it possible to convert them back to a format that everyone can see? Yes. You need to open it in America Online's image-viewer, then re-save it as a JPEG.

Start up the AOL software, pull down the "File" menu, pick "Open File," and select your ART file. Then pick "Save" in the image editor that appeared when you opened the ART file. Pulld own the "Save as type:" menu at the bottom of the "Save Graphic As" dialog box and select "JPEG Files (*.jpg)". Then click "Save" to create a JPEG format version of your image.

Note: the ART format is very low quality. That's the whole point of the format— to save as much space as possible on slow links and speed up modem connections. Converting to JPEG won't bring back the original quality, that's gone forever. In fact, you'll lose a little more in the final conversion, because JPEG is also a "lossy" format. Hey, that's life— don't say I didn't warn you!

"I found a page that says Internet Explorer can view ART files!"

Internet Explorer used to support ART files. However, this feature was removed by Microsoft when a security bug was found in their ART viewer code. Many old web pages still say this is supported. Unfortunately, it's not. You'll have to use AOL to do the conversion.

You might find an old computer somewhere that doesn't use Windows Update, ever, and still has a version of Internet Explorer old enough to include ART file viewing. But that computer most likely has many serious problems due to a lack of security updates.

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