A+ Certification / Beginners

Graphic files Extensions

Graphics have been an important part of computers since computers were invented and were able to print. Early graphics were generated using the standard ASCII character set and used to create simple graphs or rudimentary graphics. A number of different formats have become popular, and with the popularity of the Internet, the number of major graphic formats has greatly increased. For a listing of graphics formats, see Table below.

.bmpBitmapUsed by MS Paint.
.epsAdobe Encapsulated PostScriptUsed by several major graphics applications.
.gifGraphic Interchange FormatOriginally owned by CompuServe, but now by AOL. It was designed to minimize download times.
.jpg, .jpegJoint Photographic Expert Group file formatA compression format that discards data that is thought to be invisible to the human eye. Discarding data to compress files is referred to as "lossy."
.pcdKodak Photo CD formatA special format of image to be displayed on devices that support Kodak Photo CD
.pcxPC Paintbrush fileAn early Windows graphic format.
.pdfAdobe's Portable Document FormatReadable by Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.
.pngPortable Network GraphicsA fairly new and open (free to use) photo standard. It is planned as a replacement for .gif and .jpeg formats; it supports all the benefits of both formats. It uses a zip type algorithm for compression.
.tif, .tiffAldus Tagged-Image file formatThis was used as a common interchange format between most graphics applications. It is very popular with photographic manipulators. It supports LZW (Lempel-Ziv-Welch) compression format to reduce file sizes. LZW compression is "lossless" - it doesn't discard any data.

Other file extensions

While some of the file extensions have been categorized in this tutorial, Table below has some other extensions that are worth noting.

.asp, .aspxActive Server Page filesUsed by MS Paint.
.cdaCD Audio filesUsed by MS Paint.
.cssCascading Style Sheet filesStores HTML style data.
.htm, htmlHyperText Markup Language filesStore data that will be displayed on Web sites. Web servers use the HyperText Transfer Protocol (http) to send the information to your Web browser. .html is gaining popularity for displaying information locally as well. Many vendors send help files in this format so that they can be used on both their Web sites and as offline files.
.tmpTemporary fileA short term storage file.
.txtText fileASCII text files that are readable on every operating system.
.wavWindows Audio filesAudio files designed specifically for use with Windows.
[Previous] [Contents] [Next]