.BMP File Extension
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|Category||Raster Image Files|
What is a BMP file?
A BMP file is an image saved in the Bitmap (BMP) raster image format developed by Microsoft. It contains uncompressed image data that supports monochrome and color images at variable color bit depths, along with image metadata. BMP files are commonly used for storing 2D digital photos.
Microsoft developed the BMP format, also known as the Device Independent Bitmap (DIB) format, to save images that would not be distorted when viewed on different devices. The BMP format begins with a file header, including the bitmap identifier, file size, width, height, data compression method (optional), color options, and bitmap data starting point. The header is followed by raw pixel image data and optional ICC Color Profile data.
NOTE: Since BMP files are uncompressed, they may be large in size. Therefore, the JPEG and PNG image formats are common alternatives to the BMP format for saving and transferring digital images.
How do I open a BMP file?
You can open BMP files using programs bundled with Windows and macOS:
- In Windows, you can open BMP files in Microsoft Windows Photos, which is bundled with the operating system.
- In macOS, you can view BMP files with Apple Preview or Apple Photos, which are both bundled with the operating system.
A large number of other image and graphics applications can be used to open BMP files:
- Adobe Photoshop, available for Windows and macOS.
- Adobe Illustrator, available for Windows and macOS.
- CorelDRAW, available for Windows and macOS.
- ACD Systems Canvas, available for Windows.
NOTE: Many of these programs may also be used to export images as BMP files.