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GIF - Graphics Interchange Format
GIF pictures store single or multiple raster image data in 8-bit, or 256 colors. GIF pictures support transparency, compression, interlacing, and multiple-image pictures (animated GIFs).

Advantages
•Widely supported Internet standard
•Lossless compression and transparency supported
•Animated GIFs are prevalent and easy to create with a large number of GIF animation programs

Disadvantages
•256-color palette; detailed pictures and photo-realistic images lose color information and look paletted
•Lossless compression is inferior to the JPG or PNG formats in most cases
•Limited transparency; no semi-transparent or faded effects like those provided by alpha channel transparency

JPG - Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
JPEG pictures store a single raster image in 24-bit color. JPEG is a platform-independent format that supports the highest levels of compression; however, this compression is lossy. Progressive JPEG files support interlacing.

Advantages
•Superior compression for photographic or realistic artwork
•Variable compression allows file size control
•Interlacing (for Progressive JPEG files)
•Widely supported Internet standard

Disadvantages
•Lossy compression degrades original picture data.
•When you edit and resave JPEG files, JPEG compounds the degradation of the original picture data; this degradation is cumulative.
•JPEG is not suitable for simpler pictures that contain few colors, broad areas of similar color, or stark differences in brightness.

BMP - Windows Bitmap
Windows bitmaps store a single raster image in any color depth, from black and white to 24-bit color. The Windows bitmap file format is compatible with other Microsoft Windows programs. It does not support file compression and is not suitable for Web pages.

Overall, the disadvantages of this file format outweigh the advantages. For photographic quality images, a PNG, JPG, or TIF file is often more suitable. BMP files are suitable for wallpaper in Windows.

Advantages
•1-bit through 24-bit color depth
•Widely compatible with existing Windows programs, especially older programs

Disadvantages
•No compression, which results in very large files
•Not supported by Web browsers

More information to the formats above and other formats can be found here.

Submitted by: Jon See Profile

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by wafen See Profile
last modified: 2005-07-28 23:23:06