Full Form of GIF is Graphics Interchange Format. It is bit-mapped graphics file format and it was developed in 1987 by CompuServe with the idea of developing an image format which is platform independent. The technique used for compressing GIF is called as Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique. This technique reduces the file size without degrading the quality of image which makes GIF format so popular. This compression technique was patented in 1985.
GIF format supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image which allows a single image to reference its own palette of up to 256 different colors. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of up to 256 colors for each frame. Since there is limitation of only 256 colors, it makes the GIF format less suitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color however it is very well-suited and very popular for simple images such as graphics or logos which has solid areas of color.
Two standards of GIF
There are two standards of GIF – 87a and 89a. The 87a standard is basic whereas 89a standard has additional features for improved interlacing and has the ability to define one colour to be transparent and it also has the ability to store multiple images in one file to create a basic form of animation.
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