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Comparison of File Formats


Image technology never stands still, and multiple image formats are appreciated and utilized by both average users and professionals dealing with the distribution and production of images. The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and the format introduced by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) are among the well-known formats for digital images. The formats being discussed have a few things in common related to their usage.

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To begin with, both JPEG and GIF files are commonly used in web pages to make the content more appealing and share visual information in an effective manner (Amine, 2020). More than that, both formats can be utilized to create digital steganographic messages (Amine, 2020). The popularity of these formats on the web creates a kind of competition between them, and users should also understand the fundamental differences between GIF and JPEG files to make informed choices.

The dissimilarities between JPEG and GIF files

The dissimilarities between JPEG and GIF files are mainly connected with the extent to which they affect different aspects of image quality. The JPEG format, for instance, allows reproducing the colors of the original image accurately without making the file extremely big (Amine, 2020). Importantly, the GIF format supports only 256 colors, whereas JPEG files can use millions of colors, which makes them more appropriate for photos or realistic digital art (El-Saba, 2016).

The formats are also considerably different when it comes to the loss of data, and the GIF format is more effective in this regard since it uses only lossless compression techniques (El-Saba, 2016). Also, using GIF, it is possible to store more than one image in a file, which allows users to create animated pictures, and JPEG does not provide this opportunity.


The dissimilarities between the formats explain why they serve different purposes. Thus, JPEG is used primarily to store complex and high-resolution images with realistic colors, and GIF is more appropriate when it comes to simpler computer-generated images.


Amine, K. (2020). Steganographic techniques classification according to image format. International Annals of Science, 8(1), 143-149.

El-Saba, A. M. (2016). The difference between JPEG and GIF and which to use. Web.

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