The BMP format is the native image format for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Historically it was an important format in productivity and publishing applications but has been displaced by more compact, efficient and portable formats such as JPEG, PNG and TIFF. BMP is still used in some applications. BMP files are high quality but large in comparison to the alternatives. Unlike other image-file formats like GIF and JPEG, the BMP file format was not designed to be portable. It was really designed to easily work with the Windows API using the same structures that Windows applications use to manipulate in-memory bitmaps. As Windows has changed, so has the BMP file format. Windows now has several documented versions of the BMP format. Visual Integrity can support any of these variations.
Frequently Asked Questions
- The image formats used on web sites are JPEG (or JPG), PNG and GIF. JPEG is best for images with many colors such as photos. GIF is best for line art, illustrations and drawings with limited color. PNG is the most versatile and can be used quite broadly on web-sites.
- The image formats used in documents follow a similar rule. GIF, TIFF and PNG are best for images with fewer colors and JPEG is used for images with many colors such as photos. The best test is to use pdf2image to convert to a few different formats and then view them both on-screen and in print to see which gives you the desired result.
- It’s also important to determine what formats your application can import. If the program you want to use only accepts BMP, then you need to convert to this format, even if it produces larger files than PNG.