May 5, 2007
What format should I save my screenshot as?
The one vital rule:
- Not as a bitmap (.bmp)
If you don’t know the differences between different image formats, and how data relating to the picture is stored you might want to check out this article on Wikipedia about the way bitmap files are stored.
Using a bitmap, such as the 904KB image on shcorporation‘s freewebs site slows down your website hugely. Do you really think someone wants to sit and wait for an image to load just because someone can’t be bothered, or isn’t aware of how to make an image web-ready?
Okay, not a bitmap – but what should I use?
.gif, .jpg and .png are all fine.
Personally I prefer saving files in the .PNG (vector) format, because as wikipedia puts it, there are some distinct advantages over the other potential formats:
- On most images, PNG can achieve greater compression than GIF (see the section on filesize, below).
- PNG gives a much wider range of transparency options than GIF, including alpha-channel transparency.
- PNG gives a much wider range of color depths than GIF (truecolor up to 48-bit compared to 8-bit 256-color), allowing for greater color precision, smoother fades, etc.
- GIF supports animation while PNG does not.
- PNG images are widely supported, but not as widely supported as GIF images