Building Graphics For Your WAP Pages
WirelessProNews - Explore Wireless Possibilities


Hello Wireless Developers,

Although graphic design for wireless devices isn't all that important at this stage of wireless evolution, I think it will be an interesting trend with the development of faster, smarter phones/PDAs. For now, learn how to design WBMPs in some of your favorite programs.

I hope that you enjoy this issue.

Gram Gibson, Guest Editor

Building Graphics For Your WAP Pages
The idea of developing graphics for cell phones and PDAs may seem a little silly at first, but there are a few things to take into context before you decide whether or not to take that WBMP plunge.

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First of all, take into account the limitations of the all black and white WBMP.

- WBMP is a black and white only format
- file size cannot exceed 1461 bytes
- image size should not exceed 150 x 150 (pixels)

So, right away, you're dealing with a relatively small design area, and an extremely small file size. Since WBMP is all black and white, designing graphics in this format could be likened to developing icons. You have a very small picture that is more or less put
together pixel by pixel. It can be a very tedious process to say the least.

Developing graphics for WAP may seem like a lot of hassle for nothing, but there are a few upsides to this debate.

The WBMP format can give you a chance to include corporate branding or to create splash screens for your WAP applications, which can be very important if you are a web-based company or individual, looking to cross develop content. It gives the user an impression of your company, that text alone would not.

You could also develop splash screens that display an advertiser's logo, thereby giving you broader support for marketing and advertising solutions.

So, now if you've decided on developing graphics for your WAP pages, let's talk about what programs support WBMP.


If you're looking to develop in familiar programs such as Macromedia Fireworks or Adobe Photoshop, check out the links below:

Macromedia Fireworks WBMP Import/Export Xtra

This XTRA allows you to design graphic content in Fireworks and export it as a WBMP. You can even import color photos and export a dithered black and white photo that retains decent quality.

Download (fireworks Xtra):

Adobe Photoshop/Paintshop Pro Plugin - UnWired

This plugin is an excellent addition to Photoshop or Paintshop. Design graphics as usual in Photoshop / Paintshop and export as a WBMP. (note: when using photoshop, you must manually rename each wbmp with the *.wbmp extension, as photoshop only uses the *.wbm


This is a stand-alone program that converts multiple file formats to WBMP. This excellent conversion program is from Gingco New Media.

(requires java runtime 1.1 - visit

Applepie Solutions - Online Image Converter

This is an online WBMP converter that allows you to specify the source file (must be an online GIF) and download the converted WBMP. Very cool!

These resources should get you started in WBMP development!

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