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JPG, PNG, GIF and TIFF formats: how they differ and when it is better to use them

JPG, PNG, GIF and TIFF formats: how they differ and when it is better to use them

Differences between JPG, PNG, GIF and TIFF. (photo: Canva)

Often on the web or in the social networks different are used image formats. But do users know exactly the difference between each of them, or the type of format that is best to use in each case?

Although there are others PNG, JPG, TIFF and GIF are the most popular formats, and about which TechMarkup will explain today to make their characteristics clear, to which a newcomer such as WEBP.

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Differences between JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF and WEBP formats

Most people have heard many times about PNG, JPG, TIFF and GIF, but they don’t always know which one to use for a web space, online store or for the different social platforms.

Yes, we are talking about the different image formats that one can find, and that it is better to be clear about them to avoid using them erroneously. Next, TechMarkup will review them in detail:

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1.JPG

Perhaps the best known and most widespread image format among users is JPG. What is a JPG? an image format with loss of quality; namely, every time it is manipulated or its size is reduced, the image in question will lose in quality.

It is a format designed for the compression of digital and photographic images, and it is capable of saving CMYK or RGB color information, as well as gray scales. It is the standard format used by digital cameras, although in cases where professional photography is discussed, it is advisable to use other formats.

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It is also widely used in web pages and social networks, both for its compatibility with different platforms and programs, as for the fact that it is a type of image that not too heavy. Although in order to do this, its weight must first be reduced through editing programs such as Photoshop.

When talking about professional design work, such as creating a poster, a logo, etc., it is not advisable to use the JPG as an extension, precisely because of the loss of quality that was previously mentioned.

Example of a JPG image.  (photo: Getty Images)
Example of a JPG image. (photo: Getty Images)

2.PNG

On the opposite side of the JPG is the PNG, which is a lossless compression format. Furthermore, it is a format that allows you to use transparencies, while the JPG will always be seen with a white background.

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On the other hand, its size is also larger, so if it is used in photographs, it must be taken into account that the final file will be considerably heavy.

When to use it? Like the JPG, the PNG is usually used for web and online platforms when you want to maintain a high quality of the final image, or in those cases where the image does not have a background.

It is also used when it comes to vector drawings or logos, that will look better and with higher color quality in this format than in JPG. However, it is not a useful extension for jobs intended for digital printing, since this format does not support colors in CMYK.

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Example of a PNG image.  (photo: photo shoot)
Example of a PNG image. (photo: photo shoot)

3.Gifs

So fashionable lately, the GIF is an image format that allows you to create moving images no need to install a software specific.

Supports animations, transparencies and 256-color palettes (unlike PNGs, which support millions of colors). In addition to animations, the GIF is often used to save simple logos or simple illustrations with flat colors and light weight.

It is not too suitable in the case of photography: photographic images lose too much quality in these GIF formats.

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Example of a GIF.  (photo: pet addicts)
Example of a GIF. (photo: pet addicts)

4.TIFF

In penultimate place, it is necessary to review another image format that is also widely used, especially in cases of images with very high resolution and quality, and in a more professional way.

TIFF allows you to handle images and data in a single file, without loss of color and with a lot of definition. Thus, its use is not suitable for web or digital platforms.

TIFF image example.  (photo: Freepik)
TIFF image example. (photo: Freepik)

Summary of how to choose the best image format

– If you are looking for an image format that is valid for everything, both for the photographs of (for example) your online store, and for your logo, the most recommended format is PNG.

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– The JPG for photography; its low quality will greatly facilitate the task and will improve the final loading times of your website.

– And the GIFs for animationsand files with little color and information.

– In the case of TIFF, its use is more professional and little oriented to the digital world.

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