About different types of files

09.12.2019    11:27    Other    Concept Alley

Each file format has its advantages and disadvantages, which can cause you to prefer a certain type and not another, depending on what you want to do with the final project. Every time you save an image, you need to decide which file format to use.

Some formats save the image by compression, which is a special algorithm that "clutches" the image into a smaller storage space. For this, some compression algorithms delete certain data, so these formats have data loss (let's call them lossy formats), because to compress the file, automatically data is lost. Other formats offer compression without losing data, or create artifacts, these formats being without loss of information (let's call them lossless formats). However, the compression rate is much lower than the lossy formats, and you can reduce the file size by about 50%.

1. JPEG file format.
JPEG is a lossy format and can be compressed to about 10% of the original file size, with a slight loss of quality. When saving a file using JPEG compression, the JPEG format looks for similar pixels and removes those that are not needed, then tries to guess how to put them back when the file is opened. For this reason, some small errors in the compression algorithm cause a decrease in quality, sometimes failing to "guess" correctly.You can save JPEGs with settings ranging from 1 to 12, 1 indicating the poorest quality and the highest compression, and the 12 highest rated, the least compressed file. A 7 or 8 setting usually provides the ideal balance between file size and image quality in most cases.

As a conclusion, JPEG is the most common file format in both online and offline environments. Most users use it to create banner ads, websites or even for printing purpose.

2. TIFF file format
TIFF is a format without loss of information (lossless format), making it the best choice for maintaining the image quality, when the storage is not a problem and you do not want to compress the file as much as a JPEG.
The TIFF file format stores information about color and dimensions as a tail attached to the file - hence the name Tagged Image File Format - and is the recommended format when saving high-quality images to be printed.

3. GIF Format
Another compressed image format (lossy format) uses the extension GIF and uses a very limited range of colors (only 256) being ideal for graphics with large portions of solid colors. Images saved in gif format, lose a lot of color information, and all the subtle differences between shades of the same color, which can make the image look flat.

4. PICT Format
This is a file type developed to be used by Apple Macintosh computers and designed primarily for very low resolution screen images. This file type allows you to see an image using very rudimentary software, so even some text programs will be able to see a PICT file, although they can not be used to edit them.

5. PNG Format
Another compression format without loss of information, PNG is designed to be used on the Internet, making it ideal for web images. PNG file format, supports color information, grayscale and natural color images, being designed as a more advanced substitute for the GIF format.