Converting Files into Different Formats

Converting Files into Different Formats

Jay Kybert

Converting files to different formats is useful for several applications One of the most common reasons for converting a file is to compress it whether an image audio track etc Compression is a useful computer tool that reduces the space these files takes up the easiest way to convert a file for the average user is to simply enter the new file extension Users can activate an option that allows them to see the file extension txt JPG etc By navigating to File Explorer Options users can untick the option marked red in the image below this allows the extension to be shown on known file types and therefore manually altered if wanted The results of compression entirely depend on the type of file being converted and what its being converted to For example converting a PNG file Lossless Compression to a JPEG Lossy Compression will save space by decreasing the file size of the image but it will also decrease the overall image quality due to the different methods of compression





File sizes vary dramatically saving in one format may make the image look more crisp but at the expense of a lot of disk space Although it could be the complete opposite with poor quality but little disk space Bitmaps a type of image that uses arrays of different coloured pixels are the most common and efficient type of image Vector images use lines and equations to create simpler and lessdetailed images Because of this they are typically smaller in file size but lack detail Once a bitmap image has been created and is about to be saved the user needs to know what the purpose of the image is whether to have a high quality large image or the opposite Bitmap images do allow for users to control the amount of compression the file will undergo typically in the form of a variety of file formats or advanced compression options The JPEG file format is widely used due to its several layers of compression The image can be slightly compressed if the space is needed all the way to 10 of the original file size at the expense of the images quality The table below details some of the common bitmap file formats and some information regarding them



The JPEG is one of the most common file formats used in storing images It has a variety of compression options that use a specific algorithm to reduce the quality to whatever the user wants Its compression algorithm is lossy meaning that the compression does degrade the overall quality of the image by decreasing the number of colours making certain shades the same colour etc These methods reduce the number of bits required to store the file As mentioned previously JPEG is a useful file format since the user decides how compressed the image is going to be Therefore depending on the users preference the file can be a slightly larger than normal JPEG but it will provide a crisp image

A PNG file uses lossless compression to provide a clear image with some element of compression It is very similar to GIF Graphics Interchange Format however it does not support animations When using the screenshot feature on a computer many operating systems choose to compress the image automatically saving more space However the Macintosh OS and some versions of Linux save a PNG which is almost the raw uncompressed image providing a clearer picture Opposite to lossy compression lossless compression doesnt affect the original quality of the image and still decreases file size however it doesnt save as much space as lossy does It works by reading the data of the bitmap and rearranging it in a more efficient way Once the file is reopened there is no change in quality only the file size has changed

To show the difference in compression and file size I downloaded a royaltyfree image from a website I chose to save it as a PNG the image on the left proves this I then saved the same image as a JPEG The image on the right shows this The PNG file is almost five times larger than the JPEG this clearly shows the relationship betw

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