A Guide To The 10 Types of Image File Extensions And Their Use

Do you know when to use a JPG and when to use a PNG? Well, there aren’t just these two image file extensions, eight other formats are too in the race! Normal people must haven’t felt the need to understand these image extensions and their roles. Only a professional graphic designer would know the importance of different image file extensions. Let’s give you a quick tour of the 10 types of image file extensions and their functions:

1.  JPG ( or JPEG) – Joint Photographic Experts Group

JPGs are the most common image file type that you can find all across the web. These are popular for their lossy compression, where the image quality decreases with the image size.

You can use JPEGs or JPGs in documents and projects that need are to printed on high resolution. You must check the file size and resolution when working with JPEGs.

2.  PNG – Portable Network Graphics

PNGs are great for interactive documents but aren’t good for print. Even though PNGs are lossless meaning that the image quality is unaffected by the size, they are low resolution, unlike JPEGs.

PNGs are widely used in web projects as it allows you to save the image with additional colors on a clear background for a sharper, web-quality image.

3. GIF – Graphics Interchange Format

GIFs are pretty popular in their animated forms and are extensively used in ads. All of us do receive across millions of GIFs in our social media feed every day. GIFs are made from about 256 colors in the RGB color space. However, due to finite colors, the file size is greatly reduced.

GIFs file types are more common with web projects.

4. TIFF – Tagged Image File

TIFF is a huge raster file that doesn’t lose its original quality. TIFFs are known for ‘lossless compression’ where the original image size is maintained no matter how often you compress, copy, or re-save the original file.TIFFs are majorly used to save photographs for print.

5. PSD – Photoshop Document

PSDs are the image files that are both created and saved in the popular graphics editing software, Adobe Photoshop. PSDs contains ‘layers’ that allows easy modification of the images.

The only major drawback of PSD is that it works only with raster images and not vector images.

6. PDF – Portable Document Format

Invented by Adobe, PDFs can capture and review necessary information from any application and on any computer. This is by far the most successful and best tool for sharing graphics.

7. EPS – Encapsulated Postscript

EPS is a vector format file which is specifically designed to create high-resolution graphics for print use.  The EPS extension is a universal file type which can be easily used to open vector-based graphics in any design editor. Almost any design software can produce an EPS.

8. AI – Adobe Illustrator Document

AI is one of the most-preferred image formats by designers as it is the most reliable file format type to use images in all kinds of projects. Designers consider this to be the best tool in their arsenal. Adobe Illustrator can create graphics from scratch and produces vector graphics.

9. INDD – Adobe Indesign Document

The INDDs are image files that are made and saved in the Adobe Indesign where, Indesign is basically used to create larger prints such as magazines, newspapers etc.

Files from both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop can be merged in Indesign to create rich content.

10. RAW – Raw Image Formats

RAWs are the least-processed images as these are often the original format a picture gets when it’s created. The picture is saved in a raw format. RAW images contain small visual details with each element.