Graphical Interchange Format

Meaning – The term graphical interchange format, or GIF, is a digital format that is used to compress and transfer graphical information over computer networks.

It is a lossless format, unlike the more popular JPEG format, which is known to degrade in quality when resized or manipulated out of range. However, GIFs store image data using indexed color, meaning a standard GIF image can include a maximum of 256 colors.

GIFs are better suited for buttons and banners on websites since these types of images typically do not require a lot of colors. However, most web developers prefer to use the newer PNG format, since PNGs support a broader range of colors and include an alpha channel.

Example of usage“Thanks to the emergence of emojis and other creative alternatives to represent emotions, GIFs have also found a resurgence in the market.”