PNG Images

PNG images originally developed in the mid-90’s as a solution to the shortcomings of the traditional GIF image file format. As compared to the GIF, PNG offers a far less basic form of transparency. PNG’s have a distinct advantage in this area.

The PNG file format supports “semi-transparent pixels,” meaning a PNG can be saved with a soft drop shadow and floated over any background. It can be used as a watermark on a textured or gradiented background. It can even be smoothly faded from fully opaque to transparent, revealing the web page contents beneath.
A PNG, however, is floated over the image with a faded drop shadow, making the task quick, simple and dynamic. PNG’s make the look and feel of your page flexible. Lossless compression of PNG images means that no image data is lost when saving or viewing the image. This results that there is no loss in the quality of the image when image is saved again and again in PNG image format.

GIF Images

On the other side the GIF images use LZW compression technique that does not have any loss in image quality but their file sizes are slightly larger. The PNG file format supports “semi-transparent pixels,” meaning a PNG can be saved with a soft drop shadow and floated over any background. It can be used as a watermark on a textured or gradiented background. It can even be smoothly faded from fully opaque to transparent, revealing the web page contents beneath.

PNG Images

However in PNG images an alpha channel is supported. Another very effective feature of PNG images is the ability to adjust gamma based on monitor settings. Because of the lack of patent and licensing issues; PNG has become the darling format for software developers and Internet standards stalwarts who demand open standards.

All three PNG image types–true color, gray scale and palette–can have alpha information; but it’s most commonly used with true color images. Instead of storing three bytes for every pixel (red, green and blue), now four are stored: red, green, blue and alpha, or RGBA. The variable transparency allows you to create “special effects” that will look good on any background, whether light, dark or patterned.
Although there are still GIF images on this site, they are almost always very old images. Almost every image used these days is PNG or JPG.

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