We describe the Photobook system, which is a set of interactive tools for browsing and searching images and image sequences. These tools differ from those used in standard image databases in that they make direct use of the image content rather than relying on annotations. Direct search on image content is made possible by use of semantics-preserving image compression, which reduces images to a small set of perceptually-significant coefficients. We describe three Photobook tools in particular: one that allows search based on grey-level appearance, one that uses 2D shape, and a third that allows search based on textural properties.© (1994) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.