Top 10 Image File Extensions and their difference explained

Top 10 Image File Extensions Explained

Did you ever think about the types of images, I mean there are a lot of image formats like JPEG, PNG, SVG, HEIC, GIF, ICO and many more.  We should know about the use of each of these image formats.

The images play an important role on the website, as images increase the visual appearance of the website and delivers information quickly. In this blog post, we will see the important and commonly used image file formats.

Here is the detailed section with each image file extension:

1. JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg): 

What is a JPG / JPEG file?

The JPEG which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group uses lossy compression which helps to make the file size smaller. At the same time, it reduces the quality of the image also. The lossy compression made to smaller the size of the image file is not much noticeable. The JPEG file has the extension with .jpeg.

The JPEG image file format is the most used and popular in the websites.

Use Cases of JPEG File:

Emails, PPTs (PowerPoints), images in website, normal print out.

Characteristics of JPEG File:

Uses Lossy compression and file size is smaller.

JPEG images are not suitable for logos, printed banners, magazines covers, because they need to be of high quality.

What is the difference between JPG and JPEG files?

You might be thinking, what is the difference between JPG and JPEG image file formats. Actually, there is no technical difference between JPG and JPEG. JPG is just a way of referring to the JPEG files.

2. GIF (.gif)

What is a GIF file?

The GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format.” GIFs use lossless compression without compromising with the quality of the images. The GIF file has the extension with .gif.

The GIF file format has a limited colour palette, with only 256 colours to use.

GIF files are commonly used to create small animations and short looped video clips (repeated animation), like memes. This makes them suitable for creating software demos and step-by-step guides.

Use Cases of GIF File:

Simple animation, short looped (repeated) clips, email signatures, button animations and looped animations.

Characteristics of GIF File:

Lossless compression, animation support, limited colour palette (256 colours).

GIF file fomat wpgetsolution

GIF files are known for their small file sizes, which makes them an ideal choice for web animations and graphics.

3. PNG (.png)

What is a PNG File?

PNG, short for Portable Network Graphics. The PNG file has the extension with .png. PNG files are best known for their lossless compression. This lossless feature helps maintain the image quality at its best without reducing the file size.

The PNG image files support transparent backgrounds. With transparent background, users can change the image’s background colours.

Use Cases of PNG File:

Logos and Icons, Web graphics, screenshots, charts, Images with transparency etc.

Characteristics of PNG File:

Lossless compression, supports transparency, high quality graphics

The PNG files are suitable for high quality graphics like logos, icons, illustrations and digital media where images need to be of high quality.

4. WebP

What is a WebP File?

WebP is an image file format. The WebP file has the extension with .webp. The WebP image format was developed by google for a better use of images in place of JPEG and PNG file formats.

It uses a lossless and lossy compression for reducing the file size while maintaining the image quality at the same time. The WebP supports transparency and animation features.

Use Cases of WebP File:

Animations, transparent images, web design and photography.

Characteristics of WebP File:

WebP file has both lossless and lossy compression, smaller file size, animation capability, supports transparency.

5. SVG (.svg)

What is an SVG File?

The SVG is an image file type which stands for scalable vector graphics. The SVG file has the extension with .svg. SVGs are XML-based image formats popularly known for their scalability.

The graphics and shapes of SVG are defined using paths, so there are no issues of pixels. Also, size of SVG files can be adjusted without the loss of image quality.

Use Cases of SVG Files:

It is easy to define the shapes of SVG files using paths without losing the quality, which makes them perfect to be used for Icons, logos and graphics. SVGs are easy to convert into high-quality print files for magazines, books etc.

Characteristics of SVG Files:

SVG is a Vector format which uses path based definition and XML markup.

Example of SVG File with XML Markup –

<svg xmlns="" width="200" height="80">
<text x="10" y="40" font-family="Arial" font-size="36" fill="blue">WPGetsolution</text>

The above provided code represents the text “WPGetsolution” in SVG format, which looks like this:

example of svg xml markup

6. Bitmap (.bmp)

What is a bmp file?

Bitmap or .bmp is an image file format which was developed by Microsoft Corporation for their Windows OS. The bitmap file has the extension with .bmp. The bitmap files have no compression or text compression feature, which makes the high quality images at the same time large file size.

Use Cases of Bitmap Files:

The bitmap files are suitable for high quality print materials like posters and banners. Also, BMP is used for archival purposes, which makes sure the images will remain in the original and best quality. Bitmap is used for scanning for clear details of documents.

Characteristics of Bitmap (BMP) Files:

The BMP files are saved in an uncompressed format, which makes them high quality. The file sizes for BMP files are large.

7. TIFF (.tiff)

What is a tiff file?

The TIFF file has a file extension of .tiff. The TIFF is an image file format, which stands for “Tagged Image File Format.

Use Cases of TIFF file:

The TIFF files are used for professional photography and high quality printing.

The TIFF image files are used in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for storing satellite imagery and aerial photos. Also, tiff files are used for archival purpose to store old historical documents and pictures for long term preservation of them.

Characteristics of TIFF File:

TIFF files have a lossless compression feature. The .tiff files have multiple colour spaces including RGB (Red, Green, Blue), CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black) and greyscale.

8. ICO (Icon)

What is an ICO File?

ICO, stands for Icon, is an image file format designed to store small size graphics.

Use Cases of ICO File:

ICO image files are used to represent browser icons also known as favicons and small icons for various computer applications.

Characteristics of ICO File:

ICO files are typically small. ICO files can contain multiple image sizes and resolutions

9. HEIC (.heic)

What is an HEIC file?

HEIC stands for High Efficiency Image File Format. It’s a next gen image file format designed to provide high-quality image compression with smaller file sizes.

HEIC uses HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) codec, which is also known as H.265. HEIC is the default image file format on iOS.

Use Cases of HEIC file:

HEIC image formats are widely used in mobile and professional photography to maintain the image quality while reducing the file size. HEIC is used in web and app development to achieve faster image delivery.

Characteristics of HEIC File:

The HEIC files are High-quality in nature. HEIC files are smaller as compared to JPEG and others. HEIC supports various features like transparency and multiple image layers.

10. PSD (.psd)

What is an PSD file?

PSD stands for Photoshop Document. It’s a proprietary image file format of Adobe. The PSD file format is used in Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is a popular image editing and graphic design software.

Use Cases of PSD file:

PSD files are mainly used for graphic designing like print and logo design. Photographer use PSD file to edit images for adding filters and other enhancement in the images. Also, PSD files are used in website design to create website layout.

Characteristics of PSD File:

The PSD files supports layers, which helps to users to work with multiple images or elements at the same time. The elements like text, brush, fonts and colours remains editable in an PSD file. The PSD files stores the image and resolution in high quality.

In this blog, we have covered important image file formats and their differences. Also, we have seen the characteristics and use case of each image file format in detail. We also covered the new image formats like WebP and HEIC.

Hope this blog have taught you something useful. Read more tech articles on WPGetsolution.


Leave a Comment

Welcome to

Please allow ads on our site

Looks like you’re using an ad blocker. We rely on advertising to help fund our site.