Internet, it's easy to feel like you're swimming for your life in one
giant bowl of alphabet soup, surrounded by screaming acronyms: GIF!
JPEG! PNG! TIFF! What do these names mean? Why does your camera spit out?
JPEG? What is the best format for a web graphics? Grab a capital O
and let's get some answers.
First off, do not worry about
Acronyms, because expanding them does not explain much. For example, JPEG
stands for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which are the standards
body that invented the JPEG format. Helpful? Not really. So think about it
them just like names like Gabriela or Jayden. That said, it may be
- JPEG: "Gif: either" jif "as in jiffy or" gif "as in" gift "- it is an interesting story .
- PIF:" ping "
- TIFF: "tiff"
Here's the decline of each.
The oldest of these formats, GIF was
long the standard of data-generated images. It worked well for
graphics and logos with large areas in solid color, but less so for
images. Due to a patent licensing error, GIF has been
replaced by PNG in every way, but one.
GIF's remaining use is in
flipbook style animations, where each frame is a separate GIF image.
Animated GIF running short shots has become popular
Internet because they are small and easy to post on Facebook or
Twitter post, email or website. Numerous tools exist for
turn a short movie clip into an animated GIF; Check out GIF Brewery on Mac or Giphy Cam for an iPad or iPhone.
The most common graphics format on
The Internet, JPEG owes its popularity to being the default format
Images created by all digital cameras, including (for iOS 11) the i
iPhones and iPads. JPEG works well for images because it can compress
file sizes significantly while hardly affecting image quality.
For example, a 20 MB image is saved in
JPEG format can end up as just 4 MB, with image quality reductions
that most people would never notice. Most graphics software lets you
adjust a slider to set different quality levels, and while
The results vary from the image, and it usually saves 75% quality level
Good compromise between quality and file size.
The disadvantage of JPEG is that
achieves these minimal file sizes by wasting data in the file,
which limits how it can be edited in the future. That's why it's professional
Photographers generally shoot in what are called "raw" formats (like
Include all image data that the camera sensor detects when the shutter
was opened). Raw files are large, but can be edited in ways that are not
possible with a JPEG file. When edits are made, the photographers save
a copy as a JPEG for sharing or posting on the web.
Considered as an improved, patent-free
Alternatives to GIF, PNG are now go-to format for online graphics
which has large areas of solid color, such as buttons, logos and
screenshots This is because PNG can compress such images well without
introduces fuzziness, which can happen with JPEG. Similarly, you can edit
PNG images repeatedly without compromising image quality.
In another contrast with JPEG, PNG
supports transparency, which means you can define a color in an image
as "transparent" rather than an actual color. When the picture is
displayed on a web page, they become transparent pixels rendered in anything
background color is. It's hugely practical to create pictures
which seems to flow over the background.
Do not use PNG for images, since a photographic image stored in PNG format will be much larger than the corresponding JPEG.
As PNG, TIFF files can be
compressed without losing data. Because of this, TIFF is used
comprehensive for archiving original images instead of JPEG; TIFF files
can be much bigger, but it is acceptable when it comes to preserving
originals from which you can later edit copies.
TIFF also has some extras
color-related features that PNG is missing, making the TIFF useful in printing
the world – if you were to write a book that would be printed
Professionally, the publisher may request some pictures or others
illustrations in TIFF format. Useful as TIFF can be, for most,
Most of the time, JPEG and PNG are all you need.
Back and Forth
Nearly a graphics program can open
pictures in these formats and convert to other formats, but see no
longer than Apple's preview program on your Mac for basic image
conversion functions. For more information about Preview use, check out Take control of Preview by Adam Engst and Josh Centers .
Now that you know the basics
Mac's main graphic formats, you're ready to do your best
foot ahead when you have to choose a file format for your photos.
One last thing! You can start
hear about a new format like iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 high Sierra
introduced this year: HEIF, or High Efficiency Image File Format (vi
do not know what happened to extra F either). HEIF provides tight
compression, transparency support, animations and much more. But you
probably will not interact with HEIF files since Apple plans to use HEIF
just behind the scenes. Instead, when you save or share an image,
The operating system will automatically convert it to one of the more