The Ins And Outs Of Jpeg: A Handy Guide

JPEG image file format is universally used for storing and displaying image files. These files are everywhere, including smartphones, computers, and web browsers.

Whether you need to store a massive amount of image files on your device, upload images across the Internet, or merge two images into PDF, the preferred format is JPEG. Furthermore, this image file format contains compressed image data. Finally, it is the format used by most digital cameras and other image-capturing devices, so whatever photo you click will be stored as JPEG.

But do you know everything about JPEG? Let’s find out!

What Exactly Is A Jpeg File?

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is an internal organization that standardized the JPEG/JPG format during the late 1980s. These files are a type of raster image file format using compression to store data. Thanks to the compression, the file sizes are smaller, making them ideal for use on the web.

The different file name extensions of JPEg images are .jpeg, .jpg, .jif, .jpe, .jfif, and .jfi.

JPEG files support up to 24-bit color and utilize lossy compression to compress pictures for more convenient sending and storage. This makes these files suitable for everyday use without sacrificing the image’s original quality.

How Does Jpeg Image Compression Work?

JPEG image compression works by splitting images into small squares. Then, each square is compressed individually. This makes these image files efficient at compressing pictures with areas of solid color.

However, JPEG compression does not work properly on pictures with large areas of uniform color or sharp edges, such as logos or line drawings. As a result, these images may appear fuzzy or blocky when they are compressed and converted to JPEG.

However, overall, JPEG compression is highly effective. Unfortunately, most people cannot understand the difference between compressed and original images unless they look to find faults.

Are There Variants Of JPEG?

There are two variants of JPEG:

  • JFIF, or the JPEG File Interchange Format, is a JPEG-based file format for pictures, and these files are typically used in digital cameras. Compared to other types of picture files, these can be compressed to smaller file sizes.
  • EXIF or Exchangeable Image File Format is a specification for JPEG-based file formats for videos, audio, and images. Generally, EXIF data is embedded in JPG pictures, which contain info about the picture’s location, the camera used to click the picture, etc.

What Are The Advantages Of The Jpeg Image File Format?

  • The compression of JPEG files is highly effective. This image file format offers the best of both worlds, where the image quality is retained while compressing the images to a much smaller file size. During compression, the non-essential data are removed.
  • The smaller file size makes JPEG a preferred image file format. This makes it easier to upload or share images across the web or with friends. Also, a smaller file size means the images will not occupy much space on your device.
  • Most web browsers support JPEG files. Also, they are compatible with almost all platforms and devices. Therefore, people don’t need any special software to view JPEG photos.

Are There Any Drawbacks to JPEG?

Although JPEGs are an excellent choice for storing, sharing, and uploading images, they have their fair share of drawbacks.

  • JPEG files are not the easiest to edit. Since the files are already compressed, editing or compressing them more would ruin image quality.
  • Sometimes, JPEG compression results in artifacts, and you can see visible lines or blocks on the image. The reason for these blocks or lines is the removal of some data from the image during the compression process. That’s why JPEGs aren’t well-suited for pictures with large areas of uniform color or sharp edges.
  • This image file format is not suited for transparent pictures. JPEGs use a lossy compression algorithm, resulting in the compressed image losing some data.

How To View JPEG Files?

Typically, you don’t need third-party software to open and view JPEG files. Instead, you can view these files using Preview (Mac) and Microsoft Paint or Microsoft Photos (Windows).

Double-click on the image file and the picture will open using the default image viewer.

What are the uses of JPEG files?

Web publishers and photographers use JPEG files. They are embedded into website designs, and due to their small sizes, they ensure websites load faster. Also, they can be quickly sent as email attachments.

Digital cameras save pictures in JPEG format unless you have tinkered with the settings.

The Bottom Line

JPEG files are ubiquitous and known for their small size. These files can be easily stored on any device, uploaded across the web, or shared across devices. As a result, they can be used to beautify websites without affecting the page loading speed.

If you wish to add anything regarding JPEG files, feel free to comment.

Posted by
Dharmesh Donda

iStaunch is written by Dharmesh Donda, an avid Internet geek, IT professional since 2012. Have been in IT industry for more than a decade, and currently doing management and consulting work have taken a plunge into entrepreneurship.

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