Image Formats
Learn the strengths and uses of the GIF, JPEG, and PNG image formats.

There are lots of different graphics formats, two of the more common on the Web are GIFS and JPEGs.

Notice a difference?
Good GIF,
Magnified 5x

CompuServe introduced the GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) image before the Web existed.
  • GIF images are compressed--they download relatively quickly.
  • GIF images are restricted to 256 colors.
  • The GIF format is best suited for drawings, cartoons, and other images that contain fairly uniform areas of color.

Notice the different?
Good JPEG,
Magnified 5x

The JPEG (or JPG) format is designed to efficiently compress images.
  • JPEG compresses images more efficiently than GIF, enabling quicker downloading times for large graphics.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format incorportes the best of both GIF and JPEG.
  • Amy has been using PNG to put slide presentations on the Web, e.g., VA Linux Legal Services

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I would appreciate comments, corrections, and
suggestions for how I can improve this course.

Nancy Blachman
Variable Symbols, Inc.
356 Bush Street
Mountain View, CA 94041-1332
650 966 8999
650 966 8998 fax
nancy- at

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