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What is .GIF file format?

GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. It is a type of bitmap image format that is compatible with images of up to 8 bits per pixel. The .gif file extension is most commonly used as file format resource on the web and as sprites in the software applications. The most unique quality possessed by GIF file format is that it uses lossless compression mechanism; as a result no effect on the image quality. While coding of gaming applications, the GIF format comes in great use as it easily store low color sprite data.

The GIF files belong to the category of Raster Image Files.

  • Microsoft Windows Photos (Windows)
  • Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer (Windows)
  • Adobe Photoshop CC (Windows & Mac)
  • Adobe Illustrator CC (Windows)
  • Google Drive (iOS & Android)

The .GIF file type was initially introduced by CompuServe.

  • GIF87a: 47 49 46 38 37 61
  • GIF89a: 47 49 46 38 39 61

GIF files initially have a fixed size graphical area. They are comprised of one of the two below mentioned fixed length header versions: –

  • GIF87a
  • GIF89a

The GIF file is also divided into segments that include: –

  • Image
  • Extension block
  • Trailer

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