About Pictures and Graphics Files   Related Topics

Pictures, scans and other graphics files can be some of the largest files on your system. Additionally, these files tend to be the ones we are most likely to share and circulate. Good picture file etiquette can be of great benefit, not only to you, but to everyone on your team and on your network.

This topic discusses several important things to know about picture files. Click a link below to learn more.

For more information about Resizing Picture Files, see the topic Resizing Picture Files.

As much as possible, keep picture and graphics file sizes to a minimum.

JPEGs vs. GIFs

Whenever possible, save graphics as GIFs (*.gif). Typically GIF files are one third to one half the size of a JPEG (*.jpg) for the same size and resolution. Bitmaps (*.bmp), on the other hand, can be as much as 10 times the size of a JPEG.

Scanning DPI

200-300 dots per inch (DPI) is sufficient for on-screen readability and for most hardcopy applications.

It is important to note that a small change in scanning DPI can have an exponential impact on the size of the file. For example, doubling the DPI will increase the file size by a factor of four (2 x 2 = 4) and tripling the DPI will increase the file size by a factor of nine (3 x 3 = 9) due to the 2 dimensional nature of graphics.

Scanning for Signatures

When you are scanning authorizations and signatures (printing, signing, then rescanning and forwarding to another user who will print, sign and scan), you may find that 450 DPI is a better scanner setting. Higher resolutions will keep the images from degrading from scan to scan. Repeated scanning and printing can lead to fuzzy looking scans after the third or fourth generation and will require a higher DPI.

What’s a Pixel?

A pixel is a picture element. Most folks think of it as one of the square shaped dots that make up a picture. Put enough pixels together and you get a picture. The more pixels you have, the sharper the image. However, each pixel takes up file space. Pictures with fewer pixels take up less space than pictures with lots of pixels. Try to strike a balance between the clarity of the image and the storage space required to support it.  




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Resizing Picture Files