Home : File Types : GIF File

.GIF File Extension

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File TypeGraphical Interchange Format File

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Rare Uncommon Average Common Very Common
CategoryRaster Image Files


This file is saved in a binary format, which requires a specific program to read its contents.


Image file that may contain up to 256 indexed colors; color palette may be a predefined set of colors or may be adapted to the colors in the image; lossless format, meaning the clarity of the image is not compromised with GIF compression.

More Information

GIFs are common format for Web graphics, especially small images and images that contain text, such as navigation buttons. However, JPEG (.JPG) images are better for showing photos because they are not limited in the number of colors they can display.

GIF images can also be animated and saved as "animated GIFs," which are often used to display basic animations on websites. They may also include transparent pixels, which allow them to blend with different color backgrounds. However, pixels in a GIF image must be either fully transparent or fully opaque, so the transparency cannot be faded like a .PNG image.

View the GIF definition.

Program(s) that open .GIF files
Microsoft Windows LogoWindows
Microsoft Windows Photos
Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015
Adobe Photoshop Elements 13
Adobe Illustrator CC 2015
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7
Corel PaintShop Pro X8
ACD Systems Canvas 15
ACD Systems ACDSee 18
Laughingbird The Logo Creator
Nuance PaperPort 14
Nuance OmniPage Ultimate
Roxio Creator NXT Pro 3
Other picture viewer or Web browser
Mac OS X LogoMac
Apple Preview
Apple Safari
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015
Adobe Photoshop Elements 13
Adobe Illustrator CC 2015
Laughingbird The Logo Creator
Roxio Toast 14
Other picture viewer or Web browser
Linux LogoLinux
Other picture viewer or Web browser
Web LogoWeb
Google Drive
iOS LogoiOS
Google Drive
Android LogoAndroid
Google Drive
Updated 8/3/2015