Doc (an abbreviation of document) is a file extension for word processing documents; it is associated mainly with Microsoft and their Microsoft Word application. Historically, it was used for documentation in plain-text format, particularly of programs or computer hardware, on a wide range of operating systems. Almost everyone would have used the doc file format, whenever you write a letter, do some work or generally write on your PC you will use the doc file format. It was in the 1990s that Microsoft chose the doc extension for their proprietary Microsoft Word processing formats. As PC technology has grown the original uses for the extension have become less important and have largely disappeared from the PC world.
Early versions of the doc file format contained mostly formatted text, however development of the format has allowed doc files to contain a wide variety of embedded objects such as charts and tables from other applications as well as media such as videos, images, sounds and diagrams. doc files can also contain mail merge information, which allows a word-processed template to be used in conjunction with a spreadsheet or database.
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The GIF file format is a type of bitmap image and has become popular due to the growth of the internet. This file format supports up to 8 bits per pixel therefore giving an image the ability to contain 256 distinct colours chosen from the 24-bit RGB colour space. It also supports animations and whenever you see a logo or other sharp edged line art then you are probably dealing with the GIF format. It uses the lossless data compression technique which reduces the file size without any impact on the quality.
The GIF file format was invented by Compuserve for their online service, but they made the specifications publicly available. GIFs are able to hold multiple bitmaps of up to 256 colors each, using LZW (Lempel Zev Welch - a simple form of file compression that removes inefficiencies in the data storage without losing data or distorting the image) compressed raster data to minimize file sizes. The idea is to lessen the amount of colours in a GIF image to the minimum number necessary and to therefore remove stray colors that are not required to represent the image. A GIF graphic is unable to have more than 256 colors but it can have fewer colors, down to the minimum of two (black and white). Images with fewer colors will compress more efficiently under LZW compression.
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