.GIF File Extension

Graphics Interchange Format

A GIF file describes a fixed-sized graphical area populated with images. Many GIFs have one image filling the screen. GIFs can contain up to 256 indexed colors. The color palette may be predefined or ...

General Information

Title GIF File Extension
Extension .gif
Full Form Graphics Interchange Format
File Type Image File
Developer CompuServe
MIME Type image/gif

File Function

Primary Function Store images
Additional Functions Support animation
Features Indexed colors, Lossless

File Characteristics

Quality Depends on color depth
Supports Layers No
Supports Transparency Yes
Editable Yes

Use Cases

Web Graphics Yes
Simple Animations Yes
Memes Yes

Security and Practices

Security Risks Malicious code injection
Best Practices Scan for viruses, Avoid unknown sources

Historical/Version Information

Initial Release 1987
Latest Version GIF89a (1989)

Associated Types

Similar Extensions .jpg, .png, .bmp

Software Compatibility

Software Usage Policy OS Compatibility
Adobe Photoshop Paid Windows, Mac
GIMP Free Windows, Mac, Linux
Web Browsers Free All platforms