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If you’re starting out in web design you may be familiar with the different types of file formats used for images on the web, but it can be confusing trying to figure out which file type you should use. This short guide outlines the differences between the file types and also uses a couple of examples to show you how the file size varies depending on which file type you use.

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is a little bit like the best of both worlds. It was developed based on GIF, for lossless compression and for display of images on the web. Unlike GIF, PNG supports 24?bit images and produces background transparency without jagged edges; however, some older web browsers do not support PNG images. PNG format supports RGB, Indexed Color, Grayscale, and Bitmap mode images. PNG also preserves transparency in grayscale and RGB images.

So let’s take at how each of the file formats fare using two different images. I’ve saved a logo and a photograph using Photoshop’s “Save For Web and Devices” command. We’ll start with the logo which is made up of only a few colors.

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