Did you know that over 3.2 billion images get uploaded every day? We share images on Facebook, Instagram, email, and dozens of other places.

If you want your images to look even more amazing, you need to know the different image file types. You can edit and improve your images.

Read on because this guide helps you navigate the different image files and when you should use them.

1. JPG

You’ll see this image file extension as JPG or JPEG. It’s pronounced “j-peg.” JPEG was the standard image file extension until Windows had a three-character limit for file extensions.

Today, it doesn’t matter which extension you use, the file will act the same on your device.

What does JPEG mean? It stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It’s the most common image file type and it’s used for low-mid quality projects, such as websites and online documents.

The thing to know about JPEG is that it does lose image quality as you compress the file.

2. PNG

Portable Network Graphics is another image file type used for web projects.

PNG files give you the ability to make a transparent background. A common application is a logo file on a website. The transparent background looks much better than a JPG with a background.

You can use PNG files for other applications, too. You can create a transparent background for a social media post.

Take your image file and convert it from JPG to PNG. Make your edits, then convert PNG to JPG. It’s that easy.

3. GIF

The technology behind the Graphical Interface Format was developed in 1987. It hasn’t changed much since.

That’s important to know because GIF files are limited in color and size. GIFs shine in their ability to show animations in a single file image.

How do you pronounce it? Both “gif” and “jif” are acceptable.

4. PSD

Adobe Photoshop is the top image editor and is the standard for photographers. Some graphic designers use the program for editing images.

The PSD file format is specific to Photoshop. You’ll need to have it installed to open a PSD file.


TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) images are much larger than JPGs, but they store so much more information. You’re able to capture the small details of an image.

It’s used for printing and publishing because it handles the small details well. Try to print a project using a JPG and it will come out pixilated. The image file doesn’t contain the fine details.

Learning the Different Image File Types

An image file extension seems trivial, but it holds a lot of information. It tells you the image file format.

This guide showed you the different image file types and what those extensions mean. You’ll be able to make your images look stunning and upload them using the right image file format.

If you think this article made it fun to learn about image files, take a look at the other software articles on the blog.

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