The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a raster output format. Although still widely used for animations, it’s been replaced by PNG for static images. It’s a good format for graphics with sharp borders and distinct color transitions It’s used for logos, line-art and other images with few colors. Compact with fast load times GIF also supports transparency and animation. It is well supported by all browsers. GIF is rarely used in desktop publishing.
When to Use GIF
GIF is not well suited for photographs or other high-color images. JPEG is usually the format of choice for these. In fact, GIF is an 8-bit format which means that an image may not contain more than 256 colors. GIF is still the best choice if you want to animate a series of images. It has lost ground to PNG in recent years. PNG was developed as an alternative to GIF when it’s patent holders, Unisys and Compuserve, threatened to charge royalties for use of the format on the Web. These patents expired in 2006 but the damage had been done. PNG was adopted as a good alternative and technically had more to offer.
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.
- Supports 1-bit B&W with CCITT G3/4 encoding
- Supports 8-bit colormap with LZW compression
- Output to any dpi resolution or pixel dimensions preserving the aspect ratio
- Source files may include vector graphics, raster images, text strings and fonts
- Advanced anti-aliasing applied during production