graphic interchange format (GIF)

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Proprietary (non-open) scheme for non-lossy compression of graphic files for faster and easier downloading, storage, or transmission of drawings, photographs, pictures and other images. It employs LZW (Lempel, Zev, Welch) technique that reduces the size of image file without causing any loss of image quality. GIF images are 8-bit (256 color) with a screen resolution of 640 x 480 to 65,536 x 65,536 pixels, can include transparencies, and are more suitable for solid colors. It is the most popular graphics file format on the internet (followed by JPEG) and is being replaced by the open-standard PNG format.
See also JPEG, PCX, and TIFF.


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