The Simplest Way to Understand Image Formats

The 5 most typical picture codecs used are JPG, BMP, GIF, Watercolor PNG, and TIFF. I will attempt to clarify in easiest phrases, their most noticeable variations and functions they serve.


To begin with, BMP is essentially the most fundamental picture format in Home windows setting. It opens up very quick, however the principle downside is it can’t be compressed and therefore the large file measurement. Subsequently we hardly ever apply it to the net, by no means ever e-mail your folks/colleagues BMP photographs!


As soon as widespread on the internet, however individuals are beginning to change it with PNG. It helps solely 256 colours which is unhealthy for photographs. The sturdy level of GIF is that it helps animation. So solely use it should you’re making an animated picture.


The most typical picture format used on the internet. It makes use of compression algorithm which significantly scale back the file measurement (from 5mb BMP file to 150kb JPG file with minor high quality loss). It’s best used to compress photographs with out distinct strains/edges. Earlier than sending any photographs to your folks, convert them to JPG first.

For graphs with distinct strains and edges, it is higher to make use of PNG format as a substitute.


Supported by all trendy browsers, PNG begins to achieve recognition. It makes use of ‘lossless’ compression algorithm means your picture will not have any high quality loss like JPG. Nonetheless the file measurement is bigger than JPG when compressing photographs as a result of PNG is greatest for photographs with largely stable colours. Use PNG should you do not care about file measurement and wished unquestionable highest quality.

One other function of PNG is clear colour assist, implies that if a web site has a black background for instance, the clear a part of the picture will seem in black. GIF helps clear colour as properly, but it surely has been changed by PNG on this area.


TIFF strengths and weaknesses are essentially the most distinct. It’s the most versatile format utilized by quite a few picture processing software program, throughout all platforms (Home windows, Mac, Unix). On the identical time, it’s a lossless picture format identical to PNG. The draw back is it can’t be utilized in internet browsers, and having file measurement bigger than PNG and on par with BMP.


For on a regular basis photographs/sharing/posting in Fb: JPG

For photographs consists of some most important/stable colours, with sharp edges and distinct strains: PNG

For animated photographs: GIF

For sharing throughout a number of platforms: TIFF

For storing in Home windows, when you do not care about file measurement: BMP