Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)


General Description

The GIF format was designed by Compuserve in 1987. Since then it has become very popular for general image exchange. There are two types of GIF files; GIF87a, the original standard of 1987 and GIF89a, the revised standard of 1989 that adds features for including comments, animation and text.


The GIF format is a loss less format and is good for saving any type of image that has 256 colors (or shades of gray), or fewer.


This format is suitable as a generalized format for image exchange, though the color information limit in the format may require you to choose PNG, TIFF or JPEG instead. In general this is the best format for images with a limited number of colors, since the compression ratio is good (regarding that the format is loss less) and GIF files can be decompressed very quickly.


The default extension for GIF files is GIF


Supporting Platforms and Applications

This format is supported by numerous applications on a wide range of platforms. However, please note that due to legal restrictions recent applications may not support the GIF format. (The LZW compression used in GIF is patented by Unisys and software makers may decide not to provide GIF support in their application.)


PMView Support

PMView supports the original GIF87a specification in full. GIF89a files can also be read, but GIF89a specific information will be ignored.


· Versions:  87a, 89a

· Bitcount:  1..8


The GIF compression/decompression included in this software is licensed under U.S. Patent No. 4,558,302 and foreign counterparts.


The Graphics Interchange Format© is the copyright property of Compuserve Incorporated. GIF (sm) is a service mark property of Compuserve Incorporated.