Choose The Correct Graphics File Format

There are many different ways to save your graphic files. Understand a bit about each file format so you can pick the format that best suits your needs. Size, quality of a picture and copyright issues are just a few of the factors to weigh when choosing your graphics file format. Use these guidelines to help you choose the correct graphics file format.


1. Understand that file format means how the graphic is saved on your computer. Different programs save graphic files different ways. The file extension shows the format of the saved graphic. BMP stands for Bitmap, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format, JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and PING stands for Portable Network Graphic.

2. Use BMP if you want Windows compatible image files. These files are large, because they are not compressed. So these are not the best choice, if you want to email the images.

3. Choose GIF for logos, clip art and line art. The files are compressed but the quality is still good. Be aware that there have been issues regarding copyright laws because CompuServe owns the design and patent. You may be violating a copyright law if your file is saved in GIF and used for business purposes. There is an ongoing controversy on this matter regarding the patent and its expiration date.

4. Pick TIFF for professional photos that you want retained in their original format. You have a larger range of colors, but they may not display on the Internet because not all web browsers support TIFF.

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5. Save as a JPEG if you want to save photos on your hard drive or email them. The compressed files don’t take up much room on your computer and are easy to send through the Internet. Use another format if you want top quality photos because they lose a bit of quality each time they are saved.

6. Use PING if you are concerned about violating any copyright laws regarding artwork. PING was created by a team of developers who wanted a file format that would not violate any copyright laws. You can save your images in PING format and use them for business purposes.