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Image formats

In case you have not noticed, there are many image formats available on the web. They are all special in their own way- meaning that they are all preferred in their own way.

Raster images and vector images are the two main categories that images can fall in to. They differ in how they work and the amount of space they need to work in. Space is important as it refers to how much your site can handle and how long it takes to load a page.

Raster image formats (RIFs) are the most familiar to Internet users. A Raster format breaks the image into a series of colored dots called pixels. The three main Internet formats, GIF, JPEG, and Bitmap, are all Raster formats. The more pixels, the more detailed the image will be. Of course, the more pixels the more bytes or pace the image will take up.

Vector formats are vectors of data stored in mathematical formats rather than bits of colored dots called pixels. This allows for a strange shaping of colors and images that can be perfectly cropped on an arc.

JPEG was developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. It's primarily used for photographs. It is a lossy type of format, but most people can't really see the difference. You can adjust the amount of compression when saving a jpeg image, so you do have some control over the final output quality. JPEGs are extremely popular since they compress into a small file size and retain excellent image quality.

The more you compress a JPEG, the more "pixely" or degraded it will tend to look. For the best results, save your JPEGs at the "medium" or "High" setting and make a copy as a back-up before you change anything.

JPEGs can be compressed which means that the image on the hard drive can contain less bytes than the image is when it actually displays. Jpeg format is primarily used to hold a large number of colors.

Gif file format is another popular format, especially on the web. It's a lossless format that's ideal for graphics. GIFs can be either static or animated. is used to hold and transfer images in index color mode (not more than 256). It not suited to hold a photo realistic images, because it cannot contain more than 256 colors. It is mostly used to display animation and drawing pictures without blend.

BMP- This is the standard Windows image format. It's lossless and works well for pictures or graphics. It's an uncompressed file format, so it takes up lots of disk space.

TIFF- The current Tiff (Tiff 6.0) is a rich and flexible file format, supported by many programs. The format is capable to record halftone images with different pixel intensity. So, it is considered to be a perfect format for graphic data storage and processing. It isn't used so much on the web
because it's compression won't result in as small a file as a jpeg . When compressed, the file is usually about half the size of the original file.

Png - Portable Network Graphic is a lossless image format . This format was designed to replace the older and simpler GIF format. Like GIF you can make transparent images for buttons and icons, but it does not support animation. A PNG file can generally end up being twice the size of a JPG and three times larger than a GIF and some browsers, such as older versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape, incorrectly render them.

WMF- Windows Metafile format is a specific Windows format.

Generally, you will use the different formats;

GIF (usually non-interlaced)-mall images, like icons and buttons, line art, grayscale (black and white), and cartoons .

JPEG. Scanned images and photographs, large images or images with a lot of detail.