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Know The File Types: When To Use JPEG, GIF, And PNG

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Know The File Types: When To Use JPEG, GIF, And PNG

Are you having troubles navigating the sea of new image types? Saving a file used to be simple – programs had one option for how to save a document, plus image files were no more complicated than a jpeg. Times have changed however, and as our applications offer ever more ways to modify, edit and create images, so have the ways we share them evolved too.

Despite the opportunities that come with new ways to present images, the variety of file types is frankly, overwhelming. What might be a perfect option for your own viewing from a harddrive is suddenly too big to download when you post it online; what looked crisp in your image editor is suddenly a blurry mess after you save.

For example, a .jpeg is a perfect option if you’re sharing an image online and want a small file size. However, if you need sharper definition, say for a logo, a .png file is a better choice. A .png file is also what you need if you’re looking to preserve transparency in your image. That being said, .png files are often large and can take a long time to download. Add into this confusing soup the fact that only .gif files support image animation, and it’s no wonder losing your way is all too easy.

Knowing which filetypes support razor sharp edges, a variety of bright colors, transparent backgrounds, or animation takes time – time you may not have. Thankfully, the good people at the website Who Is Hosting This? have created an eye-popping, well-executed cheat sheet for determining which file you need, right now.

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    Featured photo credit: Mike via flickr.com

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