Graphic Image Formats


Native Adobe Illustrator (AI) source file format. Vector based. This is the industry standard vector drawing program.


Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) language file format can contain both vector and bitmap graphics and is supported by virtually all graphic, illustration, and page-layout programs. EPS format is used to transfer PostScript-language artwork between applications.

EPS format supports Lab, CMYK, RGB, Indexed Colour, Duo tone, Grayscale, and Bitmap colour modes, but does not support alpha channels. EPS does support clipping paths. Desktop Colour Separations (DCS) format, a version of the standard EPS format, lets you save colour separations of CMYK images. To print EPS files, you must use a PostScript printer.


Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is the file format commonly used to display indexed-colour graphics and images in hypertext markup language (HTML) documents over the World Wide Web and other online services. GIF is an LZW-compressed format designed to minimize file size and electronic transfer time. GIF format preserves transparency in indexed-colour images; however, it does not support alpha channels.


Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format is commonly used to display photographs and other continuous-tone images in hypertext markup language (HTML) documents over the World Wide Web and other online services. JPEG format supports CMYK, RGB, and Grayscale colour modes, but does not support alpha channels. Unlike GIF format, JPEG retains all colour information in an RGB image but compresses the file size by selectively discarding data.

A JPEG image is automatically decompressed when opened. A higher level of compression results in lower image quality, and a lower level of compression results in better image quality. In most cases, the maximum quality option produces a result indistinguishable from the original.


Portable Document Format (PDF) is a flexible, cross-platform, cross-application file format. Based on the PostScript imaging model, PDF files accurately display and preserve fonts, page layouts, and both vector and bitmap graphics. In addition, PDF files can contain electronic document search and navigation features such as electronic links.

PDF files are created using applications like Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Illustrator, and can contain multiple pages and images.


Ideal for use in Microsoft Word documents.

Developed as a patent-free alternative to GIF, Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format is used for lossless compression and for display of images on the World Wide Web. Unlike GIF, PNG supports 24-bit images and produces background transparency without jagged edges; however, some Web browsers do not support PNG images. PNG format supports RGB, indexed-colour, grayscale, and Bitmap-mode images without alpha channels. PNG preserves transparency in grayscale and RGB images.