The graphical format is a method of recording graphic information for storing images (photos and drawings). Image file formats there are vector and raster.

Raster formats represent an image as a pixel grid (colored dots). As for the vector image format, it to build graphics use the basic geometric shapes: points, splines, lines, and polygons. All objects of vector graphics are images of mathematical functions. This approach to image representation allows you to zoom in on the picture without losing quality, which can not be said about the raster graphics. Consider the most common formats of graphic files.


This raster format is the most popular. As a rule, it is used for storing photographs. The JPG format uses a number of compression algorithms, which can result in deterioration in image quality. This format is used in the development of Internet sites. In addition, modern cameras use JPG to save received pictures.

The PNG format is a raster. It uses a lossless compression algorithm Deflate. which was originally created for archivers. This format is mainly used in web design, as it has the ability to maintain a transparent background, which plays a big role in web development.

This format is considered obsolete, especially after the appearance of PNG. The disadvantage is that this format for storing image is able to use only 256 colors. For printing this will not be enough. However, a characteristic feature of the GIF format is animation support. Today, even after the advent of Flash technology, on the expanses of the World Wide Web, you can find a huge number of animated banners in the GIF format.

TIFF – format for storing raster images with large color depth. This format is used for document scanning, OCR, and faxing. In addition, TIFF is often used in the printing industry.

This format uses a lossless compression. It is specially designed for Adobe Photoshop to support all of its features. The advantage of PSD files is the ability preserve layers, transparency, partial transparency and vector elements. It should be noted that the files saved in this format have a very large volume, and it is impossible to fully work with them with the help of any third-party programs.

Vector graphic file formats

As a rule, every program that works with vector graphics, supports its own image format. It should also be noted that vector graphics is two-dimensional and three-dimensional .

To work with two-dimensional graphics can be used software package Adobe Illustrator. which format to save the images is called AI. CorelDRAW uses the CDR format .

As for three-dimensional graphics, for exchange between applications was developed the COLLADA format. Such programs as 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and many others can work with it. In addition, the latest version of Adobe Photoshop supports working with three-dimensional graphics.

Finally it is worth noting that in this article, we reviewed, not all formats of image files, and tried to tell only about the most common. In addition to these, there are such formats as BMP, ICO, MrSID, PCX, TGA, XPS, PNM, U3D, EPS, STL, X and many others.