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Image File Types
Should You Use Jpeg or Tiff File Format?


Image file types can be confusing. You may wonder which one should you use or what are the pros and cons of the most common ones, such as the JPEG and TIFF file format.

When deciding, file size may be a consideration, as this takes up space on your computer and also affects uploading times. Smaller files may be better when you are resizing digital photos. There is also the matter of losing detail or information while working with a photo over and over again. Yes, this can happen.

JPEG File Format
The JPEG file format is the most common type of image file types. You can make the file size of your original photo smaller which might be desired in certain situations. For example, if you are uploading to a forum, often they have maximum files sizes they will accept.

When you save an edited version of a photo as a JPEG (or JPG) file extension, often you will be given a choice as to how you want it saved. The choices are Baseline, Baseline Optimized and Progressive.

Baseline Optimized optimizes your image for color and compression. This is the one that I choose, as it is superior to the standard Baseline. Progressive is the one you may have seen where the image slowly appears on your screen, the quality improving as it nears completion. It has become less common in recent years.

There are certain ways that working with JPEG files will cause your image to lose quality. If you open it, edit and save, some detail will be lost. However, unless you do this over and over again, you probably won't notice it.

TIFF File Format
There is never any loss of information with TIFF files. You can work with them over and over again and the detail will never be compromised. When I have photos that I want to make sure remain the same, I often will make a copy of the original JPG file format and save it as a TIFF file. This way I can edit the original as much as I like without worrying about it.

The downside of the TIFF file format is that the file size is very large. When you open up the file, you will see it takes much longer to appear than a JPG image. In addition, it will take up more space on your computer.

Other Image File Formats

PSD File Format
This is the native file of Photoshop. If you have manipulated the image in Photoshop, you should save it as a PSD file to preserve such things as layers.

BMP Files
These are the same as TIFF files, but are less common. You might as well use the tiff format.

PNG/GIF
These file types are often used for web graphics with fewer colors than most photos. They load quickly as the file sizes are smaller.



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