Image File Formats
Here is a preliminary list of Image File Formats
Please respond to this page with any additional information on file
formats that you have. The list below is intended only to inspire you
to correct it and add your wisdom.
- BMP (Windows BitmaP)--Windows Paint: Microsoft paint's native format.
- CompuServe GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): Compresses 8-bit images, and can't handle more than 256 colors. There is a loss of data inthis type of compression. It is used for online imagery, especially on the World Wide Web. There is an option to save interlaces GIFs, useful on the Web.
- DCS (Desktop Color Separator)--QuarkXPress: This format enables color
separations of image to be printed.
- EPS (Encapsulated PostScript): This is a way of saving object-oriented
graphics that are intended to be printed to a PostScript printing
device. Many different applications use different versions of EPS,
including Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand, Canvas, and CorelDraw.
- HAM (Hold And Modify)--Amiga: a compressed version of IFF, but the images have to conform to on of two preset sizes.
- IFF (Interchange File Format)--Amiga: general graphics format, serves
a similat function as PICT on the Macintosh.
- JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): The most effective
compression technique, which can be used at different levels of
compression. It subdivides the image, and averages the pixel
values in each subdivision. It only saves
relative differences within each of the subdivisions. This is a very effective
It looks the worst on images that contain
very large, sharp differences. It is useful for photographs, where
the changes in value are not abrupt.
- LZW (Lempel-Ziv-Welch): A compression technique that substitutes
shorter strings of data for often-repeated code describing the
image. There is no loss of quality.
- MacPaint: A file format for MacPaint, considered to be pretty obsolete
by now I guess. There is a lot of clip-art still in MacPaint.
- PCX (doesn't stand for anything)--PC Paintbrush: The extension
assigned to images saved in PC Paintbrush's native format.
- Photo CD: These have their own file format supporting a YCC color
model (supposed to be better than other models) but also store
compressed PICT versions of each image.
- Photoshop Native Formats: 2.0 and 3.0. Retain all of the data, including masking channels. There is some compression in the 3.0 version, but no loss of data at all.
- PICT (Macintosh Picture): Native to the Macintosh system software,
handles object-oriented and bit-mapped images equally well.
- PIXAR: format for use in PIXAR workstations, for 3D animations. Photoshop can open stills saved as PIXAR or save images as PIXAR so that they can be incorporated into 3D renderings. Supports RGB and Greyscale images.
- PixelPaint: There are three native formats, 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.
- Premier Filmstrip: A format for exporting an Adobe Premier file to
allow for frame-by-frame editing i9n Photoshop.
- RLE (Run-Length Encoding): A lossless compression for BMP files. Save some disk space without losing data.
- Scitex CT (Continuous Tone): A file format for use with Scitex computers for pinting and scanning. Supports Greyscale and CMYK images.
- TGA (Targa)--TrueVision: a format that allows you to overlay graphics onto live video.
- TIFF (Tag Image File Format): Widely used across different platforms.
Can't handle object-oriented files, and doesn't support JPEG
compression. TIFFs can be saved to be IBM or Macintosh compatible,
and uses LZW compression.
Mail us more information to be included on this list
graphics web master,
Last Modified 2/21/96