Images are fascinating things. They are a 2-dimensional representation of objects that forms the basis of photographs. There are various types of image formats that are in use today. These are Jpeg, Png, Gif and wimp files. While each of these types represents file formats of images, there are subtle differences between the images of each type. In this article, we shall learn about the differences between the different types of images files in use today and when we can use which format.
The Jpeg format is the short name for Joint Photographic Expert Group. The Jpeg format and the Jpg format are basically the same. The Jpg format was used in place of jpeg format as the Microsoft’s Window only supported 3 characters as file extensions.
However, such a problem doesn’t persist for Mac users. Hence Jpeg format is used by Mac users while jpg format is used by Windows users. But now, Windows has also started supporting 4 characters in the extension name.
The Jpeg must be used when the image comprises of millions of colours, and you want to limit the size of the image file. The Jpeg format eliminates some details in the image, and this process is called Image compression which results in a ‘lossy’ image. Hence, it is also called a Lossy format.
The amount of compression can be controlled by the help of Photoshop’s ‘Save For Web’ command or by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S.
The Png format is short for Portable Network Graphics. Unlike the Jpeg format, the Png format retains the details of the image and hence, with this format the size of the image file increases. It is recommended when showing portfolios.
Another format TIFF also doesn’t compress images, but the file size is generally around 30 to 40 Mb. Png image format preserves transparency meaning you can remove the background of the image and then save it without any difficulty.
Removing the background will not alter the colours of the image. There are two types of Png format – Png 8 and Png 24. Png 24 is generally sued for the superfine quality of the image.
GIF is an abbreviation for Graphics Interchange Format. The GIF format is used when the illustration is composed of solid colours only. GIF format consists of much lower colours in comparison to Jpeg and Png formats.
GIF format may be lossy at times depending upon your choice. Using Photoshop’s ‘Save For Web’ option, we can set the maximum colours in the image. When the colours are selected as two, the grey shades aren’t visible while when 256 colours are selected, all the colours in the image are visible.
GIF format preserves transparency and is best suited for saving Website logos and favicon. If the logo consists of larger amounts of colours, then Png-8 format must be selected.
WBMP is the short term for Wireless Bitmap. It is usually preferred for handheld devices like mobiles, tablets, etc. It only has two colours: Black and White. Any colour of less than 50% grey will be converted to white while any colour more than 50% grey will be converted into the black. It is preferentially used for crisp texts that enhance readability.
Now, we have understood the differences between Jpeg, Png, GIF format and Wbmp formats and when the respective formats can be used. The above article is intended to enlighten every viewer/reader of the types of image formats and aims to make the reader understand the conveniences of using the different formats.