Image Formats – Explained

Internet is the world of everything knowledgeable. Generally, we depend either on written content or Imagery based content. Images are the best way to convey the concerned message to the desired set of users or targeted audiences. Those best explain the situation with a minimum effort applied. Infographics are one of the best examples. However,…

Image Format

Internet is the world of everything knowledgeable. Generally, we depend either on written content or Imagery based content.

Images are the best way to convey the concerned message to the desired set of users or targeted audiences. Those best explain the situation with a minimum effort applied.

Infographics are one of the best examples. However, the format is based on raster imaging (to be discussed later).


JPEG, PNG, etc are some of the known image formats used commonly served on every imaging platform.

However, formats or extension like SVG, AI or MathML are broadly used for Illustration and are said to be the vector versions of the pixel based imagings i.e. Raster Image.

In fact we have innumerable image formats being established with per brand compatibility or being supported by various platforms.

As we know Images have many formats, some proprieties also, and also open to use formats. So, basically each format is made for a reason. For example there are some images which are compressed or uncompressed and of them are vector images so each nd every image exists for a reason.

Further, we witnessed two main types of main formats i.e. RASTER and VECTOR. But there is a mass difference between these two file formats.

File Compression Qualities

Images does present two file Compression algorithms. One being Lossless and other being Lossy Compressions.

Lossless Compression

These file formats in general is specification based and have a larger file format. This algorithm is best for reduced but enhanced picture quality.

Lossy Compression

This algorithm focuses more on image size rather than file quality. Lossy Compression algorithm is used in almost every compression sites focusing the compression as per user demand.

Images requiring compressed format uses this technique as per a required size.

Image or Graphic Formats

So these types of images can also resize from smaller to bigger or vice-versa without any loss of image quality. But, in the case of the Raster image even if the picture is stretched from smaller to bigger the pixels of the image may get extracted and the quality of the picture could be found to be damaged.

Raster Images

Rasters are pixel-based, which means one pixel and then another in front, and the combination of many pixels forms the Raster formats. Generally, these formats are uncompressed and found in big file sizes.


So, now comes the most popular image format i.e JPEG that evenly stands for Joint Photography Expressed Group. JPEG is a compressed image format. This format is mainly helpful for photographers in which each individual can share.

Generally JPEG is used in our phone cameras, so when we click a photo with our Smartphones, the picture is generally saved in JPEG format, even in DSLR also. The one of the downside of this type of file format is we regularly save and edit a image, these may degrade the quality of the picture.


So, in PNG is a type of image’s file format is generally big rather not equivalent to JPEG. PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics, which is loss-less format.

In JPEG, we cannot make the image background transparent, but in PNG we can convert the image background transparent

Here comes one of the main differences between PNG and JPEG. Another important feature of PNGis that we can compress the picture and the quality if the picture remain same as the quality was before compression.


Now, GIF (Graphics Interchanged Format) with the help of these we can animate the different layers and play it like a short videos. In GIFs, we find 256 colours, hence the size of the layers can’t be extended more and these layers of images has a very short duration, which basically creates a GIF.


Now, TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) such type of file formats is basically used by the printing industry, basically, all the information’s and colors are stored in the file format hence the file formats is bigger in size. These type of file formats uses in printing just because it has more colors in numbers.


BMP this type of file format developed by windows, So it’s basically the same as the features of TIFF. In printing we also use BMP, the quality of the picture doesn’t loose and the size of the BMP is too large hence it is very similar to TIFF.


A file is simply a digital file image that is stored on a camera, mobile phone, memory card, hard disk with minimally processed. It is very less processed and usually uncompressed so its name is assigned to RAW. You have definitely heard saying most of the photographers that they use RAW images for their photography.


PSD (Photoshop Document) is a image file format that is used in Adobe’s popular application photoshop. This format is image editing friendly format which support multiple image layer and various imaging option. It is usually used for creating high graphic image. Most of the high graphics images of game are made with it.

Next-Gen Image Formats

As the word itself suggests next-gen format. Below are some of the image formats name giving an enhanced and optimized viewing experience with literally one-tenth the size of the original size of the image.

If you are a blogger then you might know, Google itself suggests these formats under the documentations under page-insights (site speed tool by Google)


WebP is the most unique and innovative imaging technology to date and is our personal favorite too. With the acquisition of On2 Technologies, Google has the official authority and charge of developing with proper maintenance of WebP imaging format.

Apart from the other formats like PNG, JPEG, etc, this format has the capability of incorporating Animations along with stills imaging. WebP was first introduced in the year 2010.

JPEG 2000

As the section suggests JPEG 2000 is also a next-gen image system and encoding system that facilitates best image quality with comparatively lesser image resources.

JPEG 2000 is generally a huge upgrade to its own image format i.e. JPEG. (discussed earlier) It was first developed by a Joint Photographic Expert Group in the year 2000.


Microsoft Media Photo or JPEG XR is yet another compressed image formats yet powerful image format. It is currently patented and maintained by Microsoft since 2006. Alike other next-gen image formats having limited browser support since this format being developed by Microsoft supports large number of browsers.

In addition to JPEG, the original format this supports better Lossless Compression algorithm along with better color saturation and high compressions.

Vector Images

Whereas we also have Vector images which are quite interesting, these images are based on pixels, rather they are actually a mathematical calculation from one point to another, which means lines curves. These mathematical calculations inside the image can be the same, even also in small or big images.


SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics which defines the graphics in XML format. SVG is mainly used to define the vector-based graphics for the web. It is preferred by most designers because every element and every attribute in SVG files can be animated. SJV images are scalable, zoomable, can be scripted and compressed. The best thing about is that it doesn’t lose picture quality while zooming and resizing.


CDR files is a format of vector image which is created with the help of CORALDRAW. In CDR file format picture, text, color, image, line, shape and effect can be easily created.

CDR’s file format is stored in the document type. With the help of CDR file format, various types of documents such as letters, brochures, tabloids, web cards, web banners, envelopes, postcards, etc. are made.


AI (Adobe Illustrator Artwork) is a file format developed by Abode Flash is another method of creating vector images with help of the Abode application. Abode uses .ai extension for this type of file format. AI is saved in EPS or PDF format. This was native format of PGF.


Mathematical Markup Language, an encoding language used for expressing Mathematical notions with enhanced graphics and visuals. It is an open-sourced project from Mozilla to capture rich XML dialects for better mathematical equations based interpretation.


Vector Markup Language is a type of file format developed by Microsoft Corporation deals with vectors graphics. It XML based language that give facility to use vector images on internet specially on websites. With the help of VML and SGV two-dimensional and three- dimensional space can be very easily created.


A Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) is an open and free file format and also it is considered an international standard. Most frequently is used for editing of 2-D figures. CGM is used in vector graphics, raster graphics as well as text. It uses an object-oriented approach for image production. A metafile contains all information that describes other files.

Compound Image Formats

We have earlier read about the pixel-based images i.e. Raster Images and mathematical calculation-based images i.e. Vector Images but now let’s put some light upon a mixed-format generally called Compound Image Format.

Below are some of the well-known compound image formats yet available.


Everyone living an education or official life must be familiar with this format broadly used as the best way for representing documents. For various years this had been the synonym of Documents.

In the year 1993, Adobe Inc, an American Company dealing with the best of image and graphic software came up with this imaging or mixed imaging format i.e. Portable Document Format (PDF) as an alternative to traditional vector or raster-based imaging.


Encapsulated PostScript is yet another Compound Image Format used for document representation. EPS has the extension as .eps or .epsf or .epsi. It was first introduced to Apple Macintoshes in the year 1993 but due to increased vulnerability, it was banned or removed from all Windows operating platforms in 2018.

Tabular Synopsis

Below is the tabled form of the above explaination throughout the article..

Image FormatsStructureSizeSoftwareExtensionsUse
RasterPixelLarge Photoshop.jpg


In conclusion, whatever we discussed above and throughout the article just meant with understanding epic formats for better usuability. But does not intend at promoting or disrespecting any format.

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