[Home]Graphics file formats

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Here is a summary of the most common graphics file formats:
Common Raster Graphics Formats
[file extension]? MIME type proper name description
.bmp image/bmp Windows Bitmap Commonly used by Microsoft Windows programs, and the Windows operating system itself. Lossless compression can be specified, but some programs use only uncompressed files.
.tif image/tiff Tagged Image File Format Used extensively for traditional print graphics. Lossy and non-lossy compression available, but many programs only support a subset of available options.
.png image/png Portable Network Graphics New format designed primarily for web graphics, intended to replace "gif" format. Uses non-lossy compression.
.gif image/gif Graphics Interchange Format Used extensively on the web. Supports only 256 colors, so requires lossy quantization for full-color photos. Uses non-lossy compression. Supports animated images.
image/jpeg Joint Photographic Experts Group Used extensively on the web. Uses lossy compression; the quality can vary greatly depending on the compression settings.
.xpm image/x-xpm X-Pixmap Used almost exclusively on UNIX platforms. Uses no compression.
.psd ? Photoshop Document Standard Adobe format for Photoshop documents. Has many extra features such as image layering. Supported by very few programs other than Adobe Photoshop.
.psp ? Paint Shop Pro Document Standard Jasc format for Paint Shop Pro documents, similar to .psd for Photoshop. Supported by very few other programs.

Common Vector Graphics Formats
[file extension]? MIME type proper name description
.ps application/postscript PostScript Generic vector-based page description language, created and owned by Adobe.
.eps ? Encapsulated PostScript A PostScript file that describes a small vector graphic, as opposed to a whole page.
.pdf application/pdf Portable Document Format A PostScript file containing multiple pages and links, that works with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe eBook Reader.
.ai ? Adobe Illustrator Document Vector format for Adobe Illustrator.
.fh ? Macromedia Freehand Document Vector format for Macromedia Freehand.
.swf ? Shockwave Flash Shockwave Flash is a web page plug-in that displays vector based animations. The Flash authoring tool from Macromedia is required in order to author .swf documents.
.fla ? Flash Source File Shockwave Flash source file, only usable by Macromedia Flash authoring software.
.svg ? Scalable Vector Graphics An XML based vector graphics format, as defined by the W3 consortium for use in web browsers.

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Last edited December 17, 2001 2:24 am by WojPob (diff)