File Extension

GIF File Format

Bitmap (CompuServe)

GIF file format icon

GIF, or Graphic Interchange Format, is a file extension for an often animated raster graphics file and is the second most common image format used on the World Wide Web after JPEG.

GIF uses the LZW compression algorithm and is owned by Unisys. Though Unisys licensing statement indicates a license is required to use GIF files, in practice they have not required it and many downloaders and website builders remain ignorant to the required license and GIF’s proposed patent-free replacement in PNG.

MIME type: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/gi_

 

Learn more about GIF files:

Search for answers to GIF-related questions at IT Knowledge Exchange.

This was last updated in July 2010
Editorial Director Margaret Rouse

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