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graphics formats

There is a wide variety of graphics formats in use today. The following list contains most of them. The formats are in order by extension name under bitmapped or vector category. Some formats appear in both categories because they can hold both raster and vector images. For a summary of camera RAW formats, see RAW image format. See graphics conversion, extension and codec examples.


 Common Bitmapped Formats

 BMP  Windows & OS/2
 GIF  CompuServe
 PNG  Portable Network Graphics

 Common Vector Formats

 AI   Adobe Illustrator
 PS   PostScript
 WMF  Windows Metafile


 3FR  Hasselblad RAW

 AG4  Access G4 document imaging
 ARI  Arriflex RAW
 ARW  Sony RAW
 ATT  AT&T Group IV

 BAY  Casio RAW
 BMP  Windows & OS/2
 BPG  An HEVC still format (recent/2014)
 BRK  Brooktrout fax

 CAP  Phase One RAW
 CIT  Intergraph scanned images
 CLP  Windows Clipboard
 CMP  Photomatrix G3/G4 scanner format
 CMP  LEAD Technologies

 CPR  Knowledge Access
 CR2  Canon RAW
 CRW  Canon RAW
 CT   Scitex Continuous Tone
 CUT  Dr. Halo

 DCM  DICOM medical image
 DCR  Kodak RAW
 DCS  Kodak RAW
 DCX  Intel fax
 DNG  Adobe RAW
 DRF  Kodak RAW
 DX   Autotrol document imaging

 EIP  Phase One RAW
 ERF  Epson RAW
 EPS  Encapsulated PostScript

 FAX  Fax
 FFF  Imacon RAW
 FMV  FrameMaker
 FPX  FlashPix

 GED  Arts & Letters
 GDF  IBM GDDM format
 GIF  CompuServe
 GP4  CALS Group IV - ITU Group IV
 GX1  Show Partner
 GX2  Show Partner

 ICO  Windows icon
 IFF  Amiga ILBM
 IGF  Inset Systems (HiJaak)
 IMG  GEM Paint


 K25  Kodak RAW
 KDC  Kodak RAW
 KFX  Kofax Group IV

 LIQ  Phase One RAW
 LV   LaserView Group IV

 MAC  MacPaint
 MDC  Minolta/Agfa RAW
 MET  Mamiya RAW
 MIL  Same as GP4 extension
 MOS  Leaf RAW
 MRW  Konica Minolta RAW
 MSP  Microsoft Paint

 NEF  Nikon RAW
 NIF  Navy Image File

 ORF  Olympus RAW

 PBM  Portable bitmap
 PCD  PhotoCD
 PCX  PC Paintbrush
 PEF  Pentax RAW
 PIX  Inset Systems (HiJaak)
 PNG  Portable Network Graphics
 PNM  Unix portable bitmap
 PPM  Unix portable bitmap
 PSD  Photoshop native format
 PTX  Pentax RAW
 PXN  Logitech RAW

 RAF  Fuji RAW
 RAS  Sun
 RAW  Panasonic/Leica RAW
 RIA  Alpharel document imaging
 RLC  Image Systems
 RLE  Various RLE-compressed formats
 RNL  GTX Runlength
 RW2  Panasonic RAW
 RWL  Leica RAW

 SBP  IBM StoryBoard
 SGI  Silicon Graphics RGB
 SR2  Sony RAW
 SRW  Samsung RAW
 SUN  Sun

 TGA  Targa

 WPG  WordPerfect image

 XBM  X Window bitmap
 XPM  X Window pixelmap
 XWD  X Window dump


 3DS  3D Studio
 906  Calcomp plotter

 AI   Adobe Illustrator

 CAL  CALS subset of CGM
 CGM  Computer Graphics Metafile
 CH3  Harvard Graphics chart
 CLP  Windows clipboard
 CMX  Corel Metafile Exchange

 DG   Autotrol
 DGN  Intergraph drawing format
 DRW  Micrografx Designer 2.x, 3.x
 DS4  Micrografx Designer 4.x
 DSF  Micrografx Designer 6.x

 EMF  Enhanced Windows Metafile
 EPS  Encapsulated PostScript
 ESI  Esri plot file (GIS mapping)

 FMV  FrameMaker

 GEM  GEM proprietary
 G4   GTX RasterCAD - scanned images 
       into vectors for AutoCAD

 HPGL HP graphics language

 IGF  Inset Systems (HiJaak)

 MET  OS/2 metafile
 MRK  Informative Graphics markup file

 P10  Tektronix plotter (PLOT10)
 PCL  HP LaserJet
 PCT  Macintosh PICT drawings
 PDW  HiJaak
 PGL  HP plotter
 PIC  Variety of picture formats
 PIX  Inset Systems (HiJaak)
 PLT  HPGL Plot File
 PS   PostScript Level 2

 RLC  Image Systems "CAD Overlay ESP"
       vector files overlaid onto raster

 SSK  SmartSketch
 SVG  Scalable vector graphics (XML)

 WMF  Windows Metafile
 WPG  WordPerfect graphics

Graphics Conversions Are Problematic
It takes years to perfect graphics conversion algorithms, especially when switching between vector and raster formats. Just because an application imports or exports a particular format does not mean it does so 100% correctly. If exact replication is required, be sure to test the application's import/export filters.

Original Vector Image to JPEG Equivalent
The vector image (top) did not convert properly to the JPEG image (bottom) using the export filter of a certain drawing program. (Original image courtesy of Cedar Waxwing Design.)

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Before/After Your Search Term
graphics controllergraphics interface
graphics conversiongraphics language
graphics coprocessorgraphics link
Graphics Device Interfacegraphics mode
graphics drivergraphics pipeline
graphics enginegraphics port
graphics equalizergraphics primitive
graphics filegraphics processing
graphics filtergraphics processing unit
graphics formatgraphics processor

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