Most of us know that whenever we save any image to our system the image file gets stored with a short extension with JPEG, PNG being the most common ones. Little did we all know that each of these extensions has their own utility and serves their own function? For instance, an image file with background transparency would be saved in ‘.png’ and not in ‘.jpeg’ since the latter lacks the transparency property. There are many more such extensions and we are going to learn about them in this blog.

Different Digital Image File Extensions You Need To Know

Types Of Image File Extensions

These image extensions could be broadly categorized into two types namely:

Raster Image Files

Images constructed by a series of pixels or blocks are known as Raster images. Some of the raster image extensions are JPEG, GIF and PNG. Every photo available in the internet is raster images as pixels have a stipulated proportion depending on the resolution. If they are forced to fit over a large area in which they are likely to fall short, the image gets distorted and becomes blurry. It also happens when any image is zoomed in excessively. Resizing must be avoided if resolution is intended to be retained.

Vector Image Files

These are the more resilient image files constructed by proportional formulas rather than pixels. EPS, AI and PDF are the vector image extensions and these image files are not at all affected due to zooming in or resizing even if it is reduced to the size of a postcard or even a 30ft long poster.

We are now going to read on the various types of image extensions named above and some others as well:

Different Digital Image File Extensions You Need To Know

JPEG: Also known as JPG, it stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. This is the most common type of image file extension we save most of our images in our system. These save images with poor compression that is the quality deteriorates with increase in file size. JPEG files are used in various works such as in presentations, projects and looks good in such things.

PNG: It stands for Portable Network Graphics. These image files can be edited without losing any quality but they are of low resolution. They are fit for being applied on web pages but not for being printed. It can save an image with background transparency making the image’s web quality better and sharper.

GIF: It stands for Graphics Interchange Format. They are better known for their animated form available in ads everywhere. They are formed from 256 colors in the RGB colorspace and the file size is much small.

TIFF: It stands for Tagged Image File Format. This file type has a unique feature of retaining its quality irrespective of the original file getting copied, re-saved, compressed innumerable times! These types of image files are generally avoided in web pages as they take much time to load.

PSD: It stands for Photoshop Document and are assigned o image files created and saved in Adobe Photoshop. This file consists of layers that allow easy handling of images and their modifications. The limitation with PSDs is that they do not work with vector images.

PDF: It stands for Portable Document Format. It is directed for capturing and reviewing rich information from anywhere or from any website or anyone. A vector file if saved in a PDF format could be viewed from an Adobe Acrobat Reader Software allowing making further manipulations. Graphics are shared the best via this format.

EPS:  It stands for Encapsulated Postscript. A vector format file designed for producing graphics of high resolution for printing. This extension is more essential for opening any vector based artworks and not the really common works from the Adobe. Files transferred to designers using Corel Draw or Quark and not Adobe is safeguarded via this extension.

AI: It stands for Adobe Illustrator Document. The most preferable file format used by designers for its reliability in various types of projects and presentations both virtual and written forms. It can create all the previously mentioned file types. Vector artwork is easily produced by this.

INDD: It stands for Indesign Document. These are the files created and saved in the Adobe Indesign. This app is used for creating larger publications like eBooks, newspapers and magazines. Content rich designs could be created in Indesign by combining files from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

RAW: It is the least processed image that is available in the global web. It is the first format in which a picture is initially created. When we click any photo, it is first saved in a RAW format or the raw file format that captures every element in the photo including the smallest details. When this photo is transferred to another device and if it is edited, it gets saved in the aforesaid files.

Besides these file formats there are also other formats such as Exif, BMP, PPM, PGM and many more, which are right now not covered in this article.


Abhirup is a science and tech freak. His passion is blogging on different science and technology topics. In his spare time, he plays piano. He is an avid lover of football. Follow him on his Instagram handle to know more about him.


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