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Chapter 14. GIF Format > When to Use GIFs

14.4. When to Use GIFs

GIF is a versatile format for condensing color images for use on the Web. It is particularly well-suited for any image with areas of flat color, such as logos, line art, icons, cartoon-like illustrations, etc. It will compress them cleanly (since it is a lossless compression) and efficiently (LZW compression looks for repetition of pixel colors).

You will also need to use GIF format if you want a portion of the image to be transparent, since it is the only format universally supported by browsers. PNG files can contain transparency information (actually, in a more sophisticated way than GIF), but as of this writing, browser support is too spotty to use them confidently.


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