GIF is a raster output format. Although still in wide use, it’s popularity has fallen over the years in favor of PNG. GIF is a good format for logos, line-art and other images with few colors. It is compact and usually has quick load times. It also supports transparency and animation. It is well supported by all browsers. GIF is rarely used in desktop publishing but is a supported import format in Microsoft Office, for example.
Frequently Asked Questions
GIF is a good format for any simple image with few colors. It is also the only image format that supports animation of a series of files. It is supported well on all browsers, including legacy versions of Internet Explorer. When creating new content online today, most people choose PNG because of it’s better transparency, alpha-channel support, indexed color and smaller file size. GIF is still an absolutely fine, safe choice. if that’s what your editing software outputs and 256 colors is enough, go ahead and use GIF.
- 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.