There are so many different file extensions out there. What is a CSV file? What is a PNG file? And how can you tell the difference? This guide will teach you the six major file extensions you'll come across on the internet.
TIFF files are known as Tagged Image File Format. These are the largest files that you will deal with. TIFF files have to be compressed in order to be downloaded or transferred. TIFF files are flexible when it comes to color since they can be black-and-white, CMYK, grayscale, or RGB.
They're also flexible in terms of content such as images, layers, and tags. TIFF files are common on InDesign, Photoshop, and Quark. That's because TIFF files can carry so much image data.
JPEG files are also commonly used for images. They're known as Joint Photographic Experts Groups, which is the standard for image formatting. JPEG files are known as photos that have been compressed to a smaller size. You'll find JPEG files in digital cameras and smartphone cameras because they allow you to take more photos on one card than you can with other formats.
JPEG files are compressed down so much that they lose the image quality and detail. They're commonly used for stock photos because they create a small file that can be added to a website. However, they're not recommended for creating graphics or logos since the compression makes them appear blurry.
CSV files are known as comma-separated values files, which means the data is saved in a tabular format. They're similar to spreadsheets but come with an .CSV extension instead. They can be imported or exported into any spreadsheet program, such as Google Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel. CSV files are not similar to spreadsheets since you can only use one file at a time.
You also can't save information in a single cell, column, or row. You also will have difficulty saving formulas in a CSV file. But they can be used for a wide variety of formats. The biggest one is to help businesses export a large number of data to a smaller database. CSV files are plain text files, which makes them easier to import into a spreadsheet database or to use for website development. They're ideal for saving a huge amount of data.
GIFF files are the most common files you'll come across on the internet, especially on social media. They're known as Graphics Interchange Format. While it compresses images similar to JPEG files, the detail and quality aren't lost. But the files aren't as small as JPEG files.
Since GIFs have a limited color range, these files aren't suitable for printing. This type of file isn't used for photos because it's limited in colors. GIF files are strictly used for animations only.
PNG files are known as Portable Network Graphics. These were originally created to replace GIF files, but GIF files have re-emerged in the past few years. PNG files have better compression and a wide range of colors. They were never considered for printing out photos.
The quality on a PNG is not as good as a JPEG for printing out photos because of it's larger file size. But some art or text images print out better because they're higher quality. For example, if you take a screenshot on your computer, the result is likely a PNG file since screenshots are a combination of text and image.
Raw Image Files
Raw image files are usually images from a digital camera. The files are raw because they haven't been edited, printed, or processed. There are a wide variety of raw image files since each camera manufacturer has its own components and formats. Raw files contain a large amount of data that hasn't been compressed.
The file size of these images is larger than the others on this list. Most raw image files are converted into TIFF files before the color correction and editing process.