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.GIF File Extension

File TypeGraphical Interchange Format File

4.2 (608 Votes)
CategoryRaster Image Files

What is a GIF file?

A GIF file is an image file saved in the Graphical Interchange Format (GIF). It may contain up to 256 indexed colors with a color palette that may be a predefined set of colors or may be adapted to the colors in the image. GIF files are saved in a lossless format, meaning the clarity of the image is not compromised with GIF compression.

More Information
Screenshot of a .gif file in Microsoft Windows Photos
GIF file open in Microsoft Windows Photos

GIFs are a 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.

NOTE: View more information about the GIF format.

Open and view .GIF files with File Viewer Plus.

Programs that open GIF files

Updated 4/10/2019

About GIF Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.gif suffix is and how to open it.

The Graphical Interchange Format file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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