One of the most flexible image and photo editing software programs on the market today is the widely popular Adobe Photoshop. The name itself is instantly recognizable on the web, and it's used by people from hobbyists to website designers to professional photographers. So why is Photoshop so popular with practically every group of people? Well, for one, it's extremely flexible and can be customized to be the perfect tool for any project, large or small.
For example, Adobe Photoshop supports a variety of different image formats. There are dozens of different image file formats, and they differ in terms of compression techniques, the way in which they represent image data, and what Photoshop features they support.
One of the oldest, most common, and most widely-supported file formats for images is the BMP, or bitmap file format. BMP files support the bitmap, RGB, grayscale, and indexed color modes. BMP files tend to be larger than other formats, especially in higher color depths, owing to their lack of compression. This makes them relatively unsuitable for display on web pages, but since no image data is lost to compression, BMP files can be a good format for print media.
Named for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, the group that created the standard, the JPEG format is very common for photographs. It uses lossy compression, which sacrifices some detail for a smaller file size. Photoshop allows you to control the level of compression versus quality when saving a file, and at maximum quality, a JPEG version of an image can be virtually identical to the original, uncompressed version. JPEG files in Photoshop support the CMYK, RGB, and grayscale color modes, but do not support transparency. The JPEG format is ubiquitous and the relatively small file size of JPEG images has made them very common on the Internet.
The other quintessential online image format is the Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF. This format is used mainly for non-photographic images. GIF files use support transparency, and use lossless LZW compression, so image data is well-preserved. However, GIF files are limited to an 8 bit color space, meaning a palette of 256 colors out of the RGB color space. While making the format generally disfavored for photographs, when it comes to simple images like buttons, the GIF format's small file size makes it one of the most commonly used on the Internet.
Finally, one of the most popular image file formats among graphic artists and publishers is the Tagged Image File Format, or TIFF. TIFF is a bitmap format, and is supported by virtually all image editing software programs across most platforms, as well as by many scanners, faxes, and optical character recognition programs. TIFF files are extremely flexible, and in Photoshop, support virtually every color mode, transparency, layers, and other features, as well as bit depths of 8, 16, or 32 bits per channel. If you're working on a page layout or just need a flexible, capable format which is sure to work between multiple artists on different platforms with different image editing software, TIFF can be extremely useful to you.
Photoshop supports all of these formats and many more. Each format has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some are better for working with photos, and some are better for simpler images and diagrams. Whatever the project you're working on, there's probably a format out there just right for it, and chances are, it'll work in Photoshop.
Article Source: EzineArticles – Mandi Pralle