Have you ever thought about when you should use a PNG instead of a JPEG? With many businesses being distributed since the pandemic, countless employees no longer have the option to simply ask someone in passing. It’s unlikely you’ve ever needed to understand what separates certain file types from one another, before recently. While the variety of file formats can be overwhelming, there is a method to the madness.
Each file type can support one or more forms of content, including images, text and video. We’ve put this list together to help you understand the difference between certain file formats, and the best uses for each of them, in an effort to make your remote (or on-site) work life a little less complicated.
PDF (Portable Document Format)
This commonly used file format is best for online documents and printing purposes. It was created by Adobe to display files in the same format, no matter what device or software they’re accessed with, all while maintaining your design. You can create this file with different kinds of software, from Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and Acrobat to Microsoft Word, Google Docs and more. You just need to have a PDF reader installed on your device to view!
CSV (Comma Separated Value)
When you use CSV files, you can edit and create them in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. They’re easy to organize and edit. This file type is also not exclusive to Mac or PCs, but can be used by any desktop device and any operating system. Data is actually input as data that is separated by commas. The spreadsheet application converts those comma-separated pieces of data into cells in tables and columns to make it easier to read and edit. A CSV file is one of the most popular outputs for any spreadsheet program. Use them to upload a list of customer contacts, onboard user data and more. At the same time, plenty of programs have CSVs as their main output for reports.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
JPEG is the most common format for web design, social media and online galleries. The attractiveness of the JPEG file stems from the fact that it is lightweight and offers a fast load time. This format is also viewable on almost any program. However, saving a file as a JPEG multiple times compresses it and causes the image to lose quality and possibly become pixelated, grainy or alter certain colors.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
PNG is a high-quality file format used for images, logos, social media posts, cover photos and website photos. Unlike JPEG files, PNGs support images with transparent backgrounds. However, this file is not as lightweight as a JPEG and can slow down loading time and take up more storage. This file type does support high-quality images for online use while retaining the original image colors and sharpness.
EPS – Encapsulated Postscript
EPS is a file in vector format that has been designed to produce high-resolution graphics for print. Vector images contain bitmaps that tell each pixel in the image what size and color they should be. This allows you to make an image into nearly any size without restriction or possible pixelation. Almost any kind of design software can create an EPS. If you are a Mac user then you can use an EPS without issue, but in Windows, you need a graphic software like Adobe Illustrator to open this file format.
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)
MP4 is a multimedia container format. Most of the videos you stream on the Internet are in this lightweight file format that’s playable on all major media players. This file can contain video, audio and even subtitles. In conclusion, this is the ideal option for adding video files to your website, social media and more.