A solid understanding of image file types saves time and unlocks potential in many different ways. Learn why certain extensions work best for particular images, then evaluate photos in your file library. Here are some examples of file types to kick-start the process.
Image File Types – .png
PNG are Portable Network Graphic image extensions. The biggest limitation for .png is they are smaller files, so the chances of a .png successfully displaying a high-resolution photo on the internet are unlikely without some serious quality loss.
Instead, use .png when compressing a bigger image into a smaller one. .png maintains the quality of the original image while saving room on a website or storage folder.
Image File Types – .jpg
Next up is the JPG, similar to the .png in that it is capable of compressing large images into smaller ones. So what is the main difference to consider when using .jpg instead of .png? .jpg loses quality of the image as it compresses it whereas .png doesn’t.
The advantage of a .jpg file come in the size. .jpg can compress into very small sizes. This is helpful when putting together a library of small images where the quality of the image isn’t as important.
Image File Types –.tiff
The TIFF image file, or Tagged Image File Format are large files that maintain optimal quality through any undergoing changes. .tiff don’t have links in them, which can be ideal for privacy reasons. Because .tiff have no unseen data included, there will never be a virus hidden inside the files.
.tiff image extensions are ideal for important things like historical records. They are very hard to change or corrupt, so holding crucial files like this are where they thrive.
Image File Types – .indd
INDD is an Adobe InDesign Document file extension. These generally hold layouts of things like brochures of magazines and books. Due to the sophisticated nature of project designs, .indd is a huge benefit as its main strength is holding together the original presentation of a project.
Use an .indd when you want a project’s aesthetic to remain the same through an entire campaign. Think of it as the perfect way to keep things in their intended visual form. .indd is a larger file type, so consider using an image hosting service to store it.
Image File Types – .ai
AI is an Adobe Illustrator file extension. The most important thing to learn about the ai image file is it maintains quality of the original image through expansion and reduction. Pushing the picture to its maximum size won’t reduce the quality at all.
The ability of .ai extensions to retain image integrity make them a perfect candidate for brand logos. Due to the fact brand logos will need to change size to fit onto many different things, using .ai will keep their characteristics intact. Confidently use .ai for all logos.
Image File Types – .orf
ORF is an Olympus Raw Image File. This is a rare file type as it requires a specific camera to take pictures in this format.
If you have an Olympus camera, you’ll benefit from the storage of the .orf files that are unedited and untouched up until the moment you wish to change them in any way, which usually involves switching lighting features.
Image File Types – .nef
NEF stands for Nikon Electronic Format. It is Similar to the .orf in that its a result of a specific camera photograph – in this case Nikon. Like the .orf, the .nef retains every part of an image before any kind of processing.
What makes .nef stand out is it stores metadata alongside the image. This makes it a good candidate for a business trying to organize assets.
Image File Types – .eps
EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript. An .eps is becoming less common amongst image file types because of the many advances other software have made. The .eps files provide descriptions of files.
The versatility of the .eps storage is a positive, but the most likely use of these file types is with older files already saved as an .eps.
Image File Types – .cr2
The CR2 is the Canon Raw 2 or Canon Raw 2nd Edition. These files are a result of photographs taken with a Canon camera. These are very high quality images, so they take up plenty of space.
Use a .cr2 when you want raw unprocessed images from personal or professional photographs. Having the complete original gives the exact moment captured by the camera, which can be valuable in certain instances.
Image File Types – .psd
PSD stands for Photoshop Document, referring to Adobe’s Photoshop program. These file types store layers of images that are capable of re-editing upon opening them.
Use the .psd when you have images and layouts you prefer to evolve or re-publish in the future.