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Chapter 19. GIF Format > 8-Bit Indexed Color

19.2. 8-Bit Indexed Color

GIF files are indexed color images that can contain a maximum of 8-bit color information (they can also be saved at lower bit rates). This means they can contain up to 256 colors—the maximum number that 8 bits of information can define (28 = 256). Lower bit depths result in fewer colors and also reduce file size. This is discussed in Section 19.8 at the end of this chapter.

"Indexed color" means that the set of colors in the image, its palette, is stored in a color table. Each pixel in the image contains a reference (or "index") to a table cell containing the color for that pixel. In Photoshop, you can view the table for an indexed color image by selecting Image Mode Color Table.


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