JPEG, GIF, and PNG oh my!

Hey Angels! As we get deeper into the semester, projects and other assignments that can be image heavy start to rack up.  It’s important to know which file format to save those images in to save space on your computer or quality of a presentation!  Here’s a quick guide to the most common types of image files: JPEG, GIF, and PNG.



  • Pronounced as “jay-peg”, this file format can be shown as .jpg or .jpeg.
  • Reduces (compresses) file size when saved. Reduction of file size can lead to losing colors or specific details, so use this format when a smaller file size is more important than picture quality.
  • Standard file format for most digital cameras.
  • Compatible with many platforms (e.g. Windows, Mac) and programs (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari).
  • Used for
    • Still images
    • Photos
    • Anything with many colors
    • Anything with light and dark shades



  • Shown as .gif. While under debate, the creator of this file format has stated it is pronounced as “jif”.
  • Reduces the file size but does not lose data such as certain colors and details.
  • Allows for transparent backgrounds.
  • Can be animated.
  • Used for
    • Simple images
    • Small icons
    • Animations



  • Shown as .png and pronounced either “ping” or “P-N-G”.
  • Reduces the file size without losing details or colors.
  • 2 kinds of PNG files
    • PNG-8: Similar to a GIF, Allows for transparency, Smaller than GIF files.
    • PNG-24: Similar to a JPEG, Allows for transparency, wide range of colors, may be bigger than a JPEG.
  • Older browsers may have trouble loading PNG images.
  • Used for
    • Web images (e.g. Logos)
    • Images currently being edited
    • Complex photos



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