Different Types Of File Formats You Should Be Aware Of


If you ever found yourself in a situation where someone asked you to “Send a file in PNG format.” or “Convert this PDF to Word before you send it.” and wondered what these random letters mean, this is the article for you.

On the other hand, a lot of us use these file formats on a daily basis, but we don’t really know what differences they hold. Here’s what you need to know about the different file formats and what to use them for.

JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group

This is the most commonly used format with all digital cameras and most images on the web. It works by processing only the details that can be processed by the human eye.

What makes JPEGs preferable is that they compress the files really well and thereby allow storage of good quality pictures that occupy lesser space. It is also compatible with all platforms and does not require any custom viewer.

PNG – Portable Network Graphics

This format is used when you require a file to be stored at the exact same quality without loss of any detail. The files are still compressed, but they undergo a special process called lossless compression.

PNGs are relatively heavy when compared to JPEGs, but they support images with transparent backgrounds, which is not available with JPEGs.

SVG – Scalable Vector Graphics

The SVG format is mostly used for web design logos and graphics. These logos are usually created on digital sketchpads and involve vector art graphics. Vector art graphics are digital patterns based on geometric figures.

SVGs provide the best support for vectors, and they maintain the quality of the files even when they are resized. The disadvantage here is that it is not supported by a few platforms like social media sites, which can be a major factor in a few cases.

PDF – Portable Document Format

It is currently the most preferred document format because of its cross-platform compatibility, easy conversion, and high compression while maintaining the quality of the files. PDF files are supported by all operating systems and all devices, and they provide the best quality for all different types of files and graphics invariably.

Another factor that makes PDFs preferable is their easy conversion. Initially, This required the special Acrobat reader, but now there are several PDF to Word converter websites that allow you to convert files just by providing links to the document. It can also be converted to any format, including JPEG, PNG, etc.


MP4 files are primarily videos, but they allow the storage of extensions related to the video file like audio, subtitles, and graphics. It is supported across all platforms and provides high compressibility.

Initially, MP3 file format was being widely used, but the improved features of MP4 like its automatic optimization to screen ratio,  allowing easier conversion, etc.

Raw format – CRW, DNG, NEF

As the name implies, the RAW format holds images that are directly received from your camera in its raw form. This is processed first and then compressed separately. Different cameras use different raw formats.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *