ImageGear .NET - Updated
File Formats
User Guide > File Formats and Compressions > File Formats

This sections contains detailed information on the following:

About File Formats

Every application that deals with images has specific kinds of data to store and interchange, from icons to photographs. The various hardware devices used to record and store the graphics data, and the hardware intended to display or print the data also affect the design of the format. This leads to a diversity of file formats. To add to this diversity, different groups of people have different ideas about how to structure and access an image, and what kind of additional information should be stored with an image. Even formats designed to store the same kind of data can differ. Other factors that affect the outcome of the design include memory considerations, storage size, accuracy, and portability.

National and international standardization organizations, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Standards Organization (ISO), seek to create standards of storage for graphics data. One example is the Joint Photographic Experts Group's (JPEG) creation of the JPEG file format. Some of its intended goals were good image quality, user-chosen compression ratio, and cross-platform flexibility. When an image is called a JPEG, it is assumed to precisely follow the standardized JPEG format.

Formats known as "de facto standards" are those that begin as proprietary formats, but by the forces of the market and sometimes by good quality, become widely supported. Some examples of de facto standards are BMP, GIF, and PCD.

A third group of file formats falls somewhere between officially recognized standards and the strictly proprietary formats. These formats are created by groups of individuals with a common interest who come together to form a more unofficial standards organization. These formats are usually intended to provide an end-all industry standard so that data with the same or similar origins can be shared across different applications or platforms. One example is the TIFF format. TIFF was designed by eight computer technology companies (headed by Aldus Corporation) with the common goal of providing a standard format for storing scanned images.

ImageGear supports graphics file formats from all of these genres, providing you with a complete range of imaging capabilities, including the capture and processing of scanned images.

In addition, ImageGear functionality enables you to exchange data easily from one format to another, and to make improvements in images using powerful image-processing API.

ImageGear supports all of the popular formats, including recognized standards that best utilize the latest imaging technologies.

See Also