GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
open-source raster graphics retouch editor
used for image retouching and editing,
free-form drawing, converting between
different image file formats and
Photo Image File Formats  Maintained by Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
Authored by MCSE
Microsoft Certified
Systems Engineer
PixSavers, Photo Retouching, Shoreline, WA

  • PPM, PGM, PBM, PNM portable pixmap (PPM),
    portable graymap (PGM) and portable bitmap (PBM)
206-337-2020 Seattle
888-546-2384 Toll-Free
206-337-2020 Seattle
888-546-2384 Toll-Free

Stereo formats (MOV, Linear PCM, H.264 compression)

  • MPO Multi Picture Object format:  multiple JPEG images
    (Camera & Imaging Products Association) (CIPA).
  • PNS PNG Stereo format that consists of a side-by-side
    images based on PNG (Portable Network Graphics).
  • JPS a Stereo format that consists of side-by-side images
    in a format that compresses the file like JPEG formatting
2D vector formats (misc. 2D vector formats)

  • AI (Adobe Illustrator Artwork)
  • CDR (CorelDRAW)
  • GEM metafiles; a Graphics Layout Engine
  • HPGL for Hewlett-Packard plotters and some printers
  • HVIF (Haiku Vector Icon Format)
  • NAPLPS (North American Presentation Protocol)
  • ODG (Open Document Graphics)
  • POV-Ray markup language
  • PSTricks and PGF/TikZ creates graphics in TeX.
  • ReGIS used by DEC computer terminals
  • VML (Vector Markup Language)
  • WMF/EMF (Windows Metafile / Enhanced Metafile)
  • XPS (XML Paper Specification)
  • XAML User  language for vector graphic images

Graphics File Formats, Audio/Video File Formats (some containers, some new, some for Photoshop)

  • DNG - RAW file converter, Adobe's proprietary standard created to store image data in a highly-compatible format.       
    It converts compressed 16 bit camera RAW image format files from specific camera brands, to 8 bit or TIFF format.

  • Exif (Exchangeable image format) a standard like JFIF and TIFF; incorporated in JPEG-writes in cameras.
    Standardizes exchange of images with image metadata between digital cameras and editing and viewing.

  • HIEF (High Efficiency Image File Format)  an image container format standardized by MPEG ISO base media file.
    Can be used with any image compression format.  Standard specifies storage in HEVC intra-coded images.

  • BPG (Better Portable Graphics) a new format, replaces JPEG format when quality or file size is an issue.
  • Its main advantages are higher compression ratio.  Files are much smaller than JPEG for similar quality.

  • WebP a new open image format that uses both lossless and lossy compression;  designed by Google
    to reduce image file size to speed up website page loading:  Its principal purpose is to supersede JPEG
    as the primary format for photos on the web.  WebP is based on VP8's intra-frame coding, based on RIFF.

  • VP8  - is an open and royalty free video compression format by Google, created by On2 Technologies, from VP7.
    It can be multiplexed into the Matroska-based container format, WebM along with Vorbis and Opus audio.
    VP7 is a TruMotion video codec used in Adobe Flash, Flash-Video and JavaFX lossy media codec files.  
    Vorbis is an audio coding format in its software referenced to encoder/decoder for audio compression.  
    Opus is an audio format developed to support Internet audio, mainly used in streaming as a lossy format.

    VP9 - open and royalty free video coding format developed by Google. VP9 is a successor to VP8 and competes
    mainly with MPEG's High Efficiency Video Coding mainly used on Google's popular video platform YouTube.

    WebM - is an open media file format for video streams compressed with VP8 and VP9 (new) video codecs, and its
    audio streams are compressed with Vorbis and Opus audio codecs, and WebVTT text tracks.  It's a codec container.
    WebVTT  is a format which displays timed text tracks such as subtitles or captions, and adds text overlays onto video.  
    RIFF is "Resource Interchange File Format" - a generic file container format for storing multimedia sound and video.

  • SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) an open standard created and developed by the WWW Consortium to address
    the need for a versatile, scriptable and all-purpose vector format for the web. SVG format doesn't have a compression.
    But due to the textual nature of XML, an SVG graphic can be compressed utilizing programs, for example, Gzip.
    SVG has scripting potential, a key component in interactive web pages that look and act like real applications.

  • PPM, PGM, PBM, PNM is portable pixmap (PPM), portable graymap (PGM), and the portable bitmap (PBM)

  • Gerber (aka Extended Gerber) developed by Gerber Systems Corp., now Ucamco, is a 2D bi-level image format.
    The de facto standard utilized by printed circuit boards (PCB).  Its software is for high-precision 2D bi-level imaging.

  • CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) (superceded by SVG and DXF)  for 2D vector graphics, raster graphics, and text.
    It provides graphics data interchange for computer representation of 2D graphical information independent from any
    particular application, system, platform, or device for technical illustration and very technical design principals.

  • .flt - stands for  FiLTer; a file extension used in Adobe Illustrator, PageMaker; a plugin container; not directly viewable

  • Gzip - a file format and app. used for file comrpession/decompression, developed by Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler
    as a free software for file compression used in early Unix systems.  The G stands for GNU;  

  • GNU - a coding standard with a set of rules and guidelines for writing programs in C language for the GNU system;
    Written by Richard Stallman and staff, the standard is part of the GNU project from the GNU website and free-ware.
  • PDF (definition) - "Portable Document Format"
    Made for email, media, formated document files;
    not for photo or resume, meant for portable disc;
    compressed 50% omits redundant border pixel,
    photos are less quality than TIFF, more than JPG;

  • PDF-JPG - Saved as 2-parts, 2 pop-up windows.
    This is saved as a PDF, and then saved as a JPG.
    This has 75% compression, and cannot be edited.

  • PDF-ZIP - Saved as 2-parts, 2 pop-up windows.
    This is saved as a PDF, and then saves as a ZIP.
    This has more than 80% compression for email.  

  • PDF-NONE - Saved in 2 parts, 2 pop-up windows.
    This is saved as a PDF, and then saves as "None"
    It's saved without file compression to be edited later.
    All of these (above) have an extra windows that will
    open while saving its PDF and that windows asks if
    the file should be saved with compression or  NONE.
    A PDF without compression is like a TIFF. It can edit.

Camera RAW formats: cameras include files above

  • CR2 - Native RAW only in Canon cameras;
    Shoot CR2 (RAW) or shoot low res. in JPG;
    High res CR2 converts to TIFF, PDF, CRW;
    CRW in Photoshop is same as CR2 in Canon;
    CRW is very limited. Utilize images in TIFF only;
    Software engineers in a common blog agree
    that CR2, CRW, RAW are the same as TIFF;  
    RAW in 16 bit saves little space on a drive;
    TIFF in  8 bit is bulky, printers like it more;
    Printers convert 16 bit RAW to 8 bit TIFF;
  • NEF - Native RAW only in Nikon cameras;
    Shoot NEF (RAW) or shoot low res. in JPG;
    Only high-res NEF converts to TIFF, PDF;
  • ARW, SR2, SRF, MXF - Sony files
  • RAF, JPEG, RAW-JPEG - FujiFilm
  • ORF - RAW in Olympus (Master-2) files
  • RW2 - RAW for only Panasonic cameras
  • DNG - RAW for only Pentax cameras
  • DNG - RAW for Casio and Adobe
  • DCF (digital camera format) supported cameras with
    by ACDSee/ XnView.  Loads digital raw data.  
  • TIF/TIFF (Mac/PC) - "Tag Image File Format"
    since all its pixels are accounted for, it is a large file;
    this is why professionals want these files most often;
    preferred format for scanned images, document fax,
    desktop publishing, medical imaging, word process,
    optical character recognition, 3D and other graphics;
    grayscale to RBG color, can combine TIFF & JPEG;
    usually uncompressed, scalable, flexible photo pixel
    for editing, enlarging, imaging changing, printing;

  • JPG (JPEG) - "Joint Photographic Experts Group"
    discards all redundant white and black pixel as
    invented to fool the eye; scaled size are 'muddy'
    no editing, no printing, no enlarging, blurs pixel,
    can reduce size, email 72dpi, phone pics 24dpi;
    phone pic 1" shows on web can not be enlarged;
    High-res compression is 90%;  Low-res is 60%;

  • Gif/GIFF - "Graphics Interchange File Format"
    will show pixel loss, rescales on hi-res Website;
    technicians utilize flattened transparent layering,
    for professional advertising graphics, ad display;

  • RAW - Software Engineers say RAW is TIFF;
    "Shooting RAW wastes time - save little space."
    RAW is a compressed camera file not a bitmap;
    Printers will not print compressed RAW files;
    A 16 bit camera RAW file is compressed 50%.
    16 bit as compressed will not print in its state;
    16 bit compressed files converts to 8 bit TIFF;
    TIFF is uncompressed 8 bit and will print best.
    Printers convert 16 bit RAW to 8 bit uncompressed.
    Photoshop will convert 16 bit to 8 bit for best results;

  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics (pros use it)
    originally replaced GIF, 90% compressed values;
    retains dimension, scalable, stores layer values
    meant for first run graphic development; will not
    support CMYK, alpha RGB Web color channels

  • BMP - "Bitmap" ("Bitmap Management Protocol")
    original: "device independent bitmap" (DIB) pixels
    stores bitmap digital image for a graphics device;
    two-dimensional imaging, stores alpha channels
    and color profiles in metafile (WMF) specification;
    compresses 99%, saves width, height, resolution
  • PICT (Classic Mac QuickDraw file)
  • SWF (Shockwave Flash)

Container formats (independent layer composition)

  • MOV - QuickTime Apple movie format protocol container
  • PSD - "Photoshop Document" (PhotoShop) saves layers
  • CPT - Corel Photo Paint; not Paint Shop Pro (also Corel)
  • PSP - Paint Shop Pro; lesser expensive Photoshop
  • XCF - eXperimental; native to  GIMP* see below-right
3D vector formats  (mostly used in CAD/CAM/CAE)

  • AMF - Additive Manufacturing File Format
  • Asymptote - A language that lifts TeX to 3D.
  • .blend - a graphics blender
  • Collada COLLAbroative Design, ISO/PAS 17506
  • .dgn - graphics design system for IGDS and ISFF
  • .dwf - Design Web Format; for viewing, review, prints
  • .dwg - AutoCAD draw, stores 2D, 3D, data & metadata
  • .dxf - Drawing Exchange Format, AutoCAD data-share
  • eDrawings highly compressed 3D for email
  • .flt - FiLTer; used in Adobe Illustrator, PageMaker
  • HSF - HOOPS Stream File 3D Export Converter
  • IGES - Initial Graphics Exchange Specs for CAD
  • IMML - Immersive Media Markup Language
  • IPA - an iOS (only) archive ARM architecture app.
  • JT - 3D open CAD file format for sharing/collaboration
  • .MA (Maya ASCII format)
  • .MB (Maya Binary format)
  • .OBJ (Alias|Wavefront file format)
  • OpenGEX - Open Game Engine Exchange
  • PRC (PDB ext) eBook format, digital reading devices
  • STEP - 3D CAD interchangeable model, ISO 10303
  • SKP - 3D conceptual design software
  • STL - A stereo lithography format
  • U3D - Universal 3D file format
  • VRML - Virtual Reality Modeling Language
  • XAML - XML based user interface markup language
  • XGL - X Windows System protocol for Open GL
  • XVL - high compression for 3D lightweight graphics
  • xVRML - eXtensive Virtual Reality Modeling Language
  • X3D - XML based successor for (2001) VRML
  • .3D - native to autodesk studio DOS, 3D studio MAX
  • 3DF - highly compressed replica of original 3D model
  • .3DM - allows accurate saves of CAD, CAM, CAE;
  • .3ds - Autodesk 3D Studio
  • 3DXML - 3DVIA branded 3D proprietary XML container
  • X3D - Vector format used in 3D applications from Xara
206-337-2020 Seattle
888-546-2384 Toll-Free
206-337-2020 Seattle
888-546-2384 Toll-Free
#3 Photo Restoration: Cleaned up, Cropped and Centered.

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Copyright logos, words, photos and graphics
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Compound Formats (pixel/vector, combined format)

  • AVI, MKV, AVCHD - Audio/Video Interleave formats
  • MPEG-4 (MP4/M4V, MTS) motion picture playback
  • EPS - Encapsulated PostScript) in Photoshop
  • PostScript for graphics language for print capabilities
  • LEADTOOLS software that reads photograph formats
  • GIMP* - (GHIMP) GNU Image Manipulation Program; a
    free open-source graphics editor for image retouching,
    draws, converting to different formats, specialized tasks

Written and maintain by Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)