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Month 2 Week 3

Simple Graphics

GIF vs. JPEG vs. BMP

Graphics Interchange Format files, or GIFs, were developed by CompuServ and they have the distinction of being the first graphic files to be used in HTML. They tend to be the smallest of the graphic files, however they have a limitation. GIFs can only display 256 different colors. 

The Joint Photographic Experts Group developed JPEGs or JPG files for displaying more colors than GIFs allow. In fact, JPEGs can display the full spectrum of colors most computers can produce - currently 16.7 million.

Bit Map files or BMPs are a type of file used almost exclusively on Windows® based computers. While the most current versions of web browsers for both Macintosh® and Windows® can display BMP files, it is not recommended to use them in your web pages since older browsers cannot view them.

When To Use GIF and When To Use JPEG

We'll get more into the benefits and drawbacks of each file type in November, when we begin thinking like web designers and not just web programmers. For now, you can just remember these simple rules and you're pages will be fine -

  1. Use GIF files for drawings, computer graphics and anything that doesn't need to look "real".
  2. Use JPEG files for photographs, high end computer graphics and anything that needs to appear "real". 

Continue to learn how to create a GIF or JPEG file for your site.

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