Departments--Human Environmental Sciences Extension
Search all of

Missouri Extension Colleagues
intranet for faculty & staff

Graphics Support Home

Graphics Support

A Dictionary of Graphic File Extensions

This is only a partial listing, if you don't see what you need here, try typing your query into a Google search. There are many extensive dictionaries available on the web.


Adobe Illustrator
Vector Drawing Program for both Windows and Mac.


Audio Video Interleave
Movie format for Windows Platforms.

BinHex A Macintosh file format which enables a binary file to be transferred over the Internet as an ASCII file. Using a program like Stuffit, a file can be encoded and renamed with an “.hqx” extension. The recipient uses a similar program to decode the file.
BMP Bitmap is a raster image format used to store and display color and grayscale images. The format supports 24 bit color, which makes it suitable for photos.
CSS Cascading Style Sheets are attached to HTML documents to define how those documents are displayed when accessed via a browser. With CSS, web developers can define a style for an HTML element and then apply it to as many Web pages as they'd like.
EPS Encapsulated PostScript is a platform-independent printing format used for storing vector information. EPS is the standard format for the graphics industry because of it's scalability and excellent print quality.
GIF Graphics Interchange Format
Raster format for DOS, Windows, Macintosh and UNIX
GIF files are used for screen presentation (72dpi) not for print applications.

You can store several GIF images in one file and exchange them at specified time intervals. These changes make it look like an animated file.

GIF should only be used on the Internet if the image only requires 256 colors. Images that have more than 256 colors should be saved as JPEG.

JPEG or JPG Joint Photographic Experts Group a raster graphics format which compresses an image to save space for DOS, Windows, Macintosh and UNIX.
JPG has a highly efficient way of compressing images and is used for large photos. (Images with a maximum of 256 colors should be stored as GIF, which have a more efficient way of compressing these images.)
JPG compression will reduce file size by about 5 to 20 percent.
MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface
Computers with a MIDI interface can record sounds created by a synthesizer and then manipulate the data to create new sounds. A variety of programs are available for composing and editing music conforming to the MIDI standard.
MIME Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions A protocol that enables you to include various types of files as an attachment to an e-mail message.
MPEG Motion Picture Experts Group A high quality video format used for Internet files. A helper application is usually needed to view MPEG files.
network A group of interconnected computers capable of exchanging information. A network can be as few as several personal computers on a LAN or as large as the Internet, a worldwide network of computers.
PCD Photo CD is Kodak’s primary format for storing images on CD.
PCX Paintbrush Exchange
Raster format for PC platforms
PDF Portable Document Format
PDF enables files to be viewed on Mac, PC, Unix, or Linux computers regardless of the program originally used to create them. PDF files retain the “look and feel” of the original document including special formatting, graphics, and color. PDF files are produced by Adobe Acrobat or other applications with add-ons. (e.g., Adobe Pagemaker or In-Design.) The  Acrobat Reader program is required to view a PDF file.
PICT PICTure is a Raster format mainly for Mac applications. PICT holds QuickDraw vector images, bitmapped images and text and is the Mac counterpart to the Windows Metafile (WMF) format. When PICT files are converted to the PC, they use the .PCT file extension.
PLC Printer Control Language
PLC is a Hewlett-Packard (HP) page description language for raster printing on HPs printers.
Pronounced “Ping”
Portable Network Graphics
PNG was designed to replace the GIF format.
PNG files can hold up to 48-bit color and can use variable transparency (alpha channels). PNG compression is in most cases slightly better than GIF. (approximately 10-30% better compression.)
 PS PostScript A page description language for both PC and Mac platforms, primarily used for printing documents on laser printers. PS is the standard for desktop publishing because it takes advantage of high resolution output devices.
PSD Photoshop Document
Adobe Photoshop’s native file format.
PSP Paint Shop Pro
Paint Shop Pro's native file format.
 QT QuickTime
Movie format designed by Apple.
RTF Rich Text Format
RTF is  the “standard” from Microsoft to transfer text and images between applications running on Windows and Mac OS. RTF enables special characteristics like fonts and margins to be included within an ASCII file.
SIT, SEA, SIT.HQX, SEA.HQX are all extensions generated by Stuffit. Stuffit is a file compression utility for Macintoshes. Compressed files are referred to as “stuffed” and usually end with a “.sit” file extension. A special kind of stuffed file is self-extracting and ends with a “.sea” extension. Stuffed binary files can be converted to ASCII format for transfer over the Internet; such files have a “.sit.hqx” or “.sea.hqx” extension.
SVG Scalable Vector Graphics
SVG is used to describe two-dimensional graphics in XML.
SVG supports vector graphics which make files very small and fast to transmit. SVG is supported by most web browsers.
Macromedia Flash
SWF and FLA (Flash source file) are multimedia formats for the web. SWF files support exact positioning of graphical objects (unlike HTML.) SWF supports vector graphics which make files very small and fast to transmit.
TGA Targa
Raster format for PC, Unix, Linux, Mac
Tag Image File Format
Platform independent raster format for image files.
TIFF is supported in almost every image and word processing software.
WPG WordPerfect Graphics Metafile
WPG is the native graphics file format for WordPerfect.
WMF Microsoft Windows Metafile
WMF is a vector graphics format for Windows-compatible computers.


A Windows-based file compression utility. Compressed files are referred to as “zipped”.  A special kind of zipped file is self-extracting and ends with a “.exe” extension.




University of Missouri Extension

HES Extension Site Administrator:

Copyright  ADA Equal Opportunity
Last updated: 09/24/13