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GIF File

This page contains information on the GIF file extension (Graphics Interchange Format), a popular image file format

File extension.gif
CategoryImage File
DescriptionThe 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.
Actions Convert GIF file
View other image file formats
Technical DetailsThe 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.
Associated programs Adobe Photoshop
Apple Preview
Corel Paint Shop Pro
Microsoft Windows Photo Gallery Viewer
Developed by CompuServe
MIME type  image/gif
Useful links More detailed information on GIF files
Convert GIF file
 

Converting GIF files

Using Zamzar it is possible to convert GIF files to a variety of other formats:

gif to bmp (Windows bitmap)
gif to jpg (JPEG compliant image)
gif to pcx (Paintbrush Bitmap Image)
gif to pdf (Portable Document Format)
gif to png (Portable Network Graphic)
gif to ps (PostScript)
gif to tga (Truevision Targa Graphic)
gif to thumbnail (Thumbnail image)
gif to tiff (Tagged image file format)
gif to wbmp (Wireless Bitmap File Format)
gif to webp (Lossily compressed image file)

Convert GIF file