Graphic File Types
Adobe Illustrator (AI) is a vector graphics editing software developed by Adobe Systems. It is used mostly by graphic designers and illustrators to create vector art, as well as logos and other artwork. AI files are typically used in print media, and they are supported by Adobe programs such as Photoshop and InDesign.
Computer Graphics Metafiles (CGM) is a vector file format used for 2D and 3D drawings. It is widely used in technical documentations and engineering and has support for various multimedia formats, including vector graphics and animation.
Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) is a vector format developed by Autodesk. It is widely used for exchanging CAD (Computer-Aided Design) data between different programs. DXF files can be used for creating mechanical drawings and other technical illustrations.
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) language file format can contain both vector and bitmap graphics and is supported by virtually all graphic, illustration, and page-layout programs. EPS format is used to transfer PostScript-language artwork between applications.
EPS format supports Lab, CMYK, RGB, Indexed Colour, Duo tone, Grayscale, and Bitmap colour modes, but does not support alpha channels. EPS does support clipping paths. Desktop Colour Separations (DCS) format, a version of the standard EPS format, lets you save colour separations of CMYK images. To print EPS files, you must use a PostScript printer.
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is the file format commonly used to display indexed-colour graphics and images in hypertext mark-up language (HTML) documents over the World Wide Web and other online services. GIF is an LZW-compressed format designed to minimize file size and electronic transfer time. GIF format preserves transparency in indexed-colour images; however, it does not support alpha channels.
A JPEG is a raster file format. Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format is commonly used to display photographs and other continuous-tone images in hypertext mark-up language (HTML) documents over the World Wide Web and other online services. JPEG format supports CMYK, RGB, and Grayscale colour modes, but does not support alpha channels. Unlike GIF format, JPEG retains all colour information in an RGB image but compresses the file size by selectively discarding data.
A JPEG image is automatically decompressed when opened. A higher level of compression results in lower image quality, and a lower level of compression results in better image quality. In most cases, the maximum quality option produces a result indistinguishable from the original.
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a flexible, cross-platform, cross-application file format used for sharing documents. Based on the PostScript imaging model, PDF files accurately display and preserve fonts, page layouts, and both vector and bitmap graphics. In addition, PDF files can contain electronic document search and navigation features such as electronic links. They can be highly secure, making them ideal for applications such as online forms and digital signatures.
PDF files are created using applications like Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Illustrator, and can contain multiple pages and images.
Ideal for use in Microsoft Word documents.
Developed as a patent-free alternative to GIF, Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format is used for lossless compression and for display of images on the World Wide Web. Unlike GIF, PNG supports 24-bit images and produces background transparency without jagged edges; however, some Web browsers do not support PNG images. PNG format supports RGB, indexed-colour, grayscale, and Bitmap-mode images without alpha channels. PNG preserves transparency in grayscale and RGB images.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a widely used vector format developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics and is used for web development and graphics design. SVG files are lightweight, making them ideal for web development and animation. They can also be edited easily and support various multimedia formats.
Tagged-Image File Format (TIFF) is used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Also, virtually all desktop scanners can produce TIFF images.
TIFF format supports CMYK, RGB, Lab, indexed-colour, and grayscale images with alpha channels and Bitmap-mode images without alpha channels.
There are lots of other graphic file formats but we have only covered the ones we think are the most popular.