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When to use which graphic file format?

This entry was posted by on Saturday, 17 April, 2010 at

A brief list of file formats and their application.

BMP – lossless per-pixel rasterized. Large files.
GIF – maximum of 256 colors. Rasterized. Potentially small files. Good for charts, stuff with little gradients. Little icons.
JPEG – full color. Potentially small files when using gradients. Good for photos.
PNG http://www.hackles.org/etc/png.html Lossless regardless of which compression level is used. Supports transparency and alpha blending. Potentially very small files. Limited support in IE 6/7, although 5 did support PNG (strange eh?).
EPS – Excellent for publishing and use in LaTeX. When using PDFLaTeX first run the images through epstopdf to get the BoundingBox correct.
PDF – Excelent for publishing, supports both vector- and pixelbased images


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