What is JPEG?
When planning how to make a website incorporating images is vital for visual appeal. And this is why the Joint Photographic Experts Group created the JPEG file extension in 1992: to easily incorporate images into text-only computer interfaces. Fast forward 30 years, and JPEGs are the standard file format for photographs and other still images.
JPEG images use lossy compression, a process removing a portion of data from the original image to reduce the file size without noticeably changing the image quality. This makes JPEG files more efficient and easier to share than others, like GIFs. They’re the go-to file format for both photographers and website publishers because they still display 16.8 million colors despite the fact that they are smaller in size. This means that the files won’t slow down a website’s performance, enhancing the user experience. You can incorporate JPEG files into all components of your web design, including banners, website headers, galleries, blog posts and online forms.
Advantages of JPEG files
They can be compressed down to 5% of their original size, so a large number of JPEGs can be stored without taking up much storage space.
The small file size means that JPEGs are ideal to transfer and share digital photos and web graphics over the Internet.
The image quality doesn’t decrease too much when compressed.
They are compatible with almost every application out there because it is the most universally recognized image file format.
They can also contain exchangeable image file format (EXIF) information, including when a picture was taken and specific camera settings, including exposure and shutter speed.
Are there any disadvantages with JPEG files?
The main disadvantage of JPEG files is the loss of quality during compression. This loss can be noticeable in images with sharp edges, fine details, or text and is often referred to as "JPEG artifacts."
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Is there a difference between JPG and JPEG?
No. These two file formats are exactly the same. The only difference is that the .jpeg file extension was created because earlier versions of Windows including the MS-DOS 8.3 and FAT-16 file systems required three letter file extensions. Therefore, .jpeg was shortened to .jpg. However, earlier versions of UNIX and MAC did not require a shortened file extension and continued to use .jpeg. Today, all computer systems accept longer file extension names, making .jpeg the primary extension. For example, photo editing programs automatically save files as .jpeg, however if you try to save an image using .jpg, this will work as well.
In fact, there are a few other less common file extensions equivalent to JPEG. They are all interchangeable, but JPEG and JPG are the most common. Others include:
JPEG files FAQ
How to open and view JPEG files?
You can view JPEG files on various operating systems and devices using common image viewers and web browsers. Most image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP also support JPEG files.
Can I convert other image formats to JPEG?
Yes, you can convert images from other formats like PNG, BMP, or TIFF to JPEG using image editing software or online converters. However, be aware that the conversion may result in some loss of quality.
Are there different JPEG quality settings?
Yes, JPEG files can be saved at different quality levels or compression ratios. Higher-quality settings result in larger file sizes and better image quality, while lower settings produce smaller files with more noticeable compression artifacts.
Can JPEG files have transparent backgrounds?
No, JPEG files do not support transparency. They always have a solid, opaque background.
Are there alternatives to JPEG for lossy compression?
Yes, WebP and HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) are emerging image formats that offer improved compression efficiency and quality compared to JPEG. These formats are gaining popularity on the web.
Can JPEG files be used for printing?
JPEG files can be used for printing, but it's essential to use high-quality JPEGs with minimal compression to ensure good print results. For professional printing, consider using TIFF or other lossless formats.