Continued from previous posts: GIF, JPEG, PNG? Short Answer and GIF, JPEG, PNG? Now to GIF
To finish our discussion of image formats, let’s go through some examples.
PNG would be the best format.
If you do not need semi-transparency, GIF format would be as good, but the size of the files may be slightly larger.
And JPEG format should not be used here: it will either distort images, or make files larger. Continue reading
Continued from previous post: GIF, JPEG, PNG? Short Answer
GIF files deserve more explanations than the other two formats, in case you wonder why we did not delved into more details on it in the previous post.
GIF colour palette
The most practically important feature of GIF format is that it stores images using no more than 256 different colours. The editor would analyse the image before saving it as a GIF file, and decide which 256 colours to keep in the file, and which colours to replace with one of those 256 colours. The the outcome usually is once of these:
- There were less than 256 colours in the image, and it is saved without any losses of data or quality
- Most of the space in the image is taken by only a few colours, and the rest of them are hidden in details, like edges of shapes. Some details would be lost, but you may not even notice it
- Many colours are spread over significant areas, and GIF format would severely distort the image
Let’s look at some examples. Continue reading
Did you ever struggle with this choice? Did you wonder what’s the difference? Some people obviously do.
Let’s explore these image formats. And let’s start with a simple rule of thumb:
GIF format is suitable for “simple” images: those without many details or colours
JPG or JPEG format is best suited for photographs
PNG is for everything else and between. If you are not sure – use PNG format.
Of cause, we are talking about publishing images: otherwise, you can store them in any format your editor suggests. It’s only when you upload an image to your web site, or insert it into some software, that you’d have to worry if that default format is the best choice.