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types of image files

Types of Image File Extensions and When to Use Them

This page is an excellent resource for learning about the various picture file formats and when they perform best. Continue reading to learn the types of image file extensions and when to use them.

We’ve created a helpful guide to assist you understand the differences between each file type and when to utilize them. The distinction might help you decide how to best use them.

Discover Types of Image File Extensions

1. Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG, or JPG)

The most prevalent file format you encounter online could be JPEGs, and the letterhead your organization uses in MS Word almost certainly contains this sort of picture. JPEGs are well recognized for their “lossy” compression, which means that as the file size lowers, the image quality also does.

JPEGs are suitable for usage in Microsoft Office documents, on the web, and for high-resolution printing projects. For a project to turn out well, consideration for the quality and file size with JPEGs is crucial.


The filename extensions of “jpg” and “jpeg” are identical. Your file will function the same way no matter what name you give it and in the same format.

Only because .jpeg was condensed to .jpg to fit the three-character constraint in early versions of Windows do the two extensions for the same file exist. Even though there is no longer a necessity for this, many image processing packages still use .jpg by default.

If you are still confused about these two images and want to utilize JPEG or JPG, you may use the Image Converter Tool to help with the conversion.

2. Portable Network Graphics (PNG)

PNGs are fantastic for dynamic documents like web pages, but they are not appropriate for print. PNGs are still low resolution even if they are “lossless,” meaning you can alter them without losing quality.

The majority of online applications utilize PNGs because they allow you to save your image with more colors and a transparent backdrop. This results in a much crisper, picture suitable for the web.

3. Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)

The most prevalent GIFs are animated, which are quite popular on Tumblr pages and in banner advertisements. In the comments on social media postings, it seems like we see pop culture GIF references from Giphy every day. GIFs may contain up to 256 colors in the RGB colorspace in their most basic form. The file size is significantly less because of the few colors used.

This is a typical file format for online applications when a picture must load rapidly rather than maintaining a higher degree of quality.

4. Tagged Image File (TIFF)

A TIF is a large raster file with no quality loss. Because this file format uses “lossless compression,” the original picture data is preserved no matter how many times you copy, re-save, or compress the original file.

TIFF photos can maintain their quality even after being altered, but you shouldn’t use them online. The performance of the website will be greatly affected since it may take forever to load. TIFF files are frequently utilized for storing photos for printing.

5. Photoshop Document (PSD)

The most well-known graphics editing program ever, Adobe Photoshop, produces and saves files called PSDs. This kind of file has “layers” that make handling picture editing considerably simpler. The raster file formats listed above are also created by this software.

PSDs’ primary drawback is that Photoshop only works with raster, not vector, pictures.

6. Portable Document Format (PDF)

In order to capture and examine rich information from any program, on any machine, with anybody, anywhere, Adobe created PDFs. They have, in my opinion, had moderate success thus far.

If your vector logo is saved in PDF format, you may examine it without any design editing tools (as long as you have the free Acrobat Reader program downloaded), and the designer can utilize this file to perform additional alterations. The very finest tool for sharing graphics is this one.

7. Encapsulated Postscript, or EPS

A vector file in the EPS format is intended to create high-resolution graphics for printing. An EPS may be produced using virtually any design program.

Similar to the PDF file format, the EPS extension is more of a generic file type that can be opened in any design editor, not only the more popular Adobe applications, for vector-based artwork. This protects file transfers to designers who may be using Corel Draw or Quark instead of Adobe tools yet.

8. AI – Adobe Illustrator Document

AI is unquestionably the picture format that designers love most, and it is the most dependable sort of file format for using photos in all kinds of projects, from online to print, etc.

Since Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard for producing original artwork, it is quite likely that this is the software used to produce your logo. Vector art is created using Illustrator and is the simplest form of file to deal with. All of the aforementioned file formats can also be produced by it. Interesting thing! It is by far the most effective tool available to designers.

9. Adobe InDesign Document.

Adobe InDesign creates and saves files called INDDs (InDesign Documents). For major publications like newspapers, magazines, and eBooks, InDesign is frequently employed.

InDesign is able to merge files from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create designs with a lot of content, complex typography, embedded visuals, page content, formatting data, and other advanced layout-related features.

10. RAW – Raw Image Formats.

The least processed image type on this list is a RAW image, which is frequently the first format a photo acquires when it is generated. A shot taken with your camera is immediately stored in a raw file format. One of the aforementioned image extensions is only used when saving media after it has been edited with image software and uploaded to a new device.

Because they don’t undergo any processing and don’t lose minute visual details, RAW photos are significant because they capture every aspect of a photograph. But eventually, so they may be moved and scaled for different purposes, you’ll want to put them into a raster or vector file format.

There are many different raw picture files in which you may make photographs, many of which are unique to certain cameras, as you can see from the icons above (and there are still many more formats not displayed above). Below is a quick summary of the four raw files:

Canon RAW 2 (CR2): This image extension was established by Canon for images shot with its own digital cameras. Because they are based on the TIFF file format, they are intrinsically good in quality.

CRW: Canon also invented the CRW image extension, which existed before the CR2.

Nikon Electric Format (NEF): This picture extension stands for Nikon Electric Format and is a RAW file type developed by (you guessed it) Nikon Cameras. These image files may really be edited extensively without changing file formats, as long as the editing is done using a Nikon device or a Nikon Photoshop plugin.

PEF: Pentax Electronic Format, a RAW image file format established by Pentax Digital Cameras, is an acronym for this picture extension.

In Conclusion

Working with photos is far more complex than you would believe. This guide should have given you a better grasp of the types of image file extensions and when to use them

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