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Portable Network Graphics (.png)

PNG, which is an acronym for Portable Network Graphics, is the most well-known raster image format on the internet, that supports lossless data compression. Although the PNG was designed to replace GIF, it introduced new useful features. As it is designed to be simple and portable, developers are able to easily implement the PNG format. Also, it supports full alpha channel which makes the PNG a good choice for designing icons and logos which need transparency.

Although PNG is categorized as a lossless image format, both true-color and indexed-color images are compressed effectively, using Deflate lossless data compression algorithm, which is a combination of LZ77 and Huffman Coding.

PNG Specifications

Name Portable Network Graphics
File Extension(s) .png
Category Raster Images
Use For Digital arts including flat images, logos, and icons. Diagrams, drawings, charts, detailed screenshots, and web graphics.
Developer PNG Development Group
MIME Type(s) image/png
License ©2003 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), All Rights Reserved. W3C liability, trademark, document use and software licensing rules apply. No known royalty-bearing patents.
File Sample(s) N/A
Compression Lossless, optionally indexed color like GIF. DEFLATE algorithm.
Max Dimensions 2,147,483,647×2,147,483,647 pixels
Color Modes
Mode Bits Description
Greyscale 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 Each pixel consists of a single D-bit value indicating the brightness of the greyscale pixel.
True color 8 and 16 Each pixel is represented by three D-bit values indicating the level of the red, green, and blue color components.
Indexed color 1, 2, 4, and 8 Each pixel is a D-bit value indicating an index into a color palette which is contained within a PLTE chunk in the APNG file; the colors in the palette all use an 8-bit depth.
Greyscale with alpha 8 and 16 Each pixel is represented by two D-bit values: the intensity of the greyscale pixel and an alpha sample, indicating how opaque the pixel is.
True color with alpha 8 and 16 Each pixel is comprised of four D-pixel color components: red, green, blue, and the alpha sample indicating how opaque the pixel is.
Animation No
Transparency Yes
Interlacing Yes
Metadata Yes
Layers No
Multipage No
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