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Noemi Millman: Triopter: April, 2010 Archives

Understand Image Formats, Part 2: JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and BMP — the Raster Formats

As we learned in Part 1, there are two major types of image formats, vector and raster. A raster image is made up of a grid of pixels.

But there are several different raster formats. What’s the difference between them?

Let’s start with BMP, which is the most straightforward format. BMP stands for “bitmap”, and it is literally a list of pixels, with a color specified for each. Although Microsoft Office seems to like them a lot, BMP’s are not especially desirable for designers. They have large file sizes and often low color depth (meaning they …