Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Fundamental Files Formats - Part 5


Images or photos on the web obviously aren't the same as the photos developed in dark rooms, although those can make it onto the web too.  All information on the internet or on computers must be converted into binary code.  This binary code is made up of 0's and 1's.  Every bit of data that flows into your computer is made up of this code.  Different codes specify different things.  The formats we have been talking about for the last few weeks also tell the computer which program to use to decode the 0's and 1's.  Converting the pictures we are used to seeing on photo paper to digital formats brought about several different solutions many of which are still commonly used.

  • *.jpeg/jpg this extension is an acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group.  A group that together developed the format and adopted it as a standard for digital images.  This has become the most widely used standard for digital images, this may be in part due to the fact that it is the most common format created by digital cameras.

  • *.bmp stands for bitmap and is a file format that is still used occasionally.  If you have ever used Paint on a Windows machine it uses the bitmap format.  This is also a common format for clipart.

  • *.gif is graphics format that has been around for many years.  Graphics Interchange Format was one of the early image formats for the web. It's major contribution is the ability to overlay multiple images into a single file and thus create animation.  It is based on patented algorithms and these patents prompted the creating of *.png

  • *.png is a format created to replace *.gif.  It has taken a long time but it has steadily gained ground.  While *.jpeg is still the most common but *.png is gaining more and more acceptance and use. Not all image editing software supports this format, but if you use PowerPoint to create an image *.png is now the default and all web browsers can display these images. An animated version of this format uses the *.mng extension.

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