What is GIF?


Definition – What does GIF mean?

Graphics Interchange Format is an advance level image file format that is used for images on the web and sprites in computer programs. Just like the JPEG image format, GIFs also use lossless compression that doesn’t degrade the quality of the image. However, GIFs store image data using the indexed color that means a standard GIF image can include a maximum of 256 colors. An animated GIF is an image encoded in graphical interchange format that contains numbers of image or frames in the single files and is described by its own graphics control extension.

Glossary Web explains GIF

The original GIF format, also called GIF 87a that was distributed by CompuServe in 1987. In 1989, CompuServe released an updated format called GIF 89a that is similar to the 87a specification but contains support for transparent backgrounds and image metadata. Both of these formats support animations by enabling a stream of images to be stored in a single file. However, the GIF 89a format also includes support for animation delays. Animated GIFs are an easy and quick way to present dynamic content, especially in web pages. Its file size is small as compared to other alternatives for creating dynamic content like Flash and Java and therefore can be downloaded by any browser easily that enable for a faster browsing experience.

Martin Adler

Martin Adler is a Computer Engineer and an accomplished writer with a passion for inspiring everyone with exciting technologies. He loves to explore technical terms and try to deliver something worth reading.