11 August 2008

What do I have to choose: JPG, PNG or GIF?

JPG, PNG or GIFIn the web design, the usage of images/ graphics is not just for decorate your site. Images can speaks more than words. Now PNG, JPG and GIF are the three most popular image formats for sharing screen captures on the web. Of course there’s another format called BMP but people rarely use that for obvious reasons.

When using JPG format
If you doing a still image screenshot of a video (YouTube Flash video player), Google Earth, video games, Flash animations, desktop wallpapers or photographs (like Flickr) because the image file size would be smaller without much degradation in the quality.

When using PNG format

  • If you are capturing text (like a block of source code or Google search pages or a navigation menu) because the screenshots are clear and file size remains pretty low.
  • PNG is a better choice than JPEG for storing images that contain text, line art, or other images with sharp transitions.
  • PNG gives a much wider range of transparency options and color depths.

When using GIF format
If you are using small animations and low-resolution film clips on your web, GIF can handle this job.


  1. Also, gif is a must for images with transparency that you want displayed properly in old versions of Internet Explorer, where transparent PNGs are not supported. (6 and below). Unless you use the javascript pngfix hack.

  2. Yes you are right Tom. Since old browser didn't support PNG's transparent, you should use GIF images or a little JavaScript hack to fix PNG. I agree with you.

  3. I have found Imverter.com is inexpensive application capable to convert images formats without any software installation. This tool gives reliable solutions to make high quality images.