I get asked along about what all the different image file formats are.

“I am stuck Vicki, what are all the different image file formats and when do I use them?”

“What’s a PNG, what’s a JPG – and what am I supposed to use where? I’m so confused.”

Be confused no more as I’ve created a super simple listed breakdown for you explaining what image file formats are and when you should use them.

Here are my Image File Formats and When to Use Them Guide:


Image file formats

Image File Formats: JPG

  • Has a white background
  • Can be used high or low res
  • Can be used online for web viewing, 72dpi and above
  • Can also be used offline for print purposes, a 300dpi and above should be used for printing
  • Best file format for photos
  • Colour becomes compressed and limited
  • Can be saved as various resolutions
  • Can be imported into Canva, PicMonkey and PowerPoint



Image File Formats: png

  • Transparent background
  • Transparent design elements remain – so you can overlay on any background
  • For use for web graphics
  • Fast loading without quality loss
  • Brilliant for exporting logos to have a transparent background, which are great for your website
  • Can be used on memes, as it retains the clarity of text and retains the edges around the text, JPGs have a tendency to make the appearance of text look fuzzy around the edges. And because these have no background then they are brilliant for overlaying on any image too
  • Can be imported into Canva, Picmonkey, Word and PowerPoint – In Canva you can select with (free version) or without a transparent background (paid for option)
  • Can be used on social media banners
  • For use online
  • For use offline too
  • Lots of colours



Image File Formats: tiff

  • For use for print purposes
  • No data or quality is lost when saved
  • Not used as often as it used as it used to due to the advancement in technology
  • Used more within the photography industry for professional photographs
  • Very large in size



Image File Formats: eps

  • High quality
  • Best for printed materials such as car signage, large billboard signage, even merchandise
  • Used mainly by designers to transfer artwork
  • Scalable to any size – think billboard size!
  • Also known as a vector
  • Preferred by printer, signage companies and promo companies
  • Best for illustration creation and printing
  • Open in software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and CorelDRAW



Image File Formats: pdf

  • High quality
  • High resolution
  • Best to print from
  • Viewable on any device
  • Great for making ebooks, there is an interactive option which converts all colour to RGB (for screen) and can flip pages automatically if programmed to do so and you can also place links to websites and documents with your text – just like the link on the last bullet which can take your reader to your website etc.
  • Can be downloaded or read within your browser or phone
    Universal file format – shared, view and print by anyone
  • Word, Publisher, Excel and Powerpoint docs can all be saved as PDFs
  • Decreases your file size
  • You can convert to interactive forms with the paid for version and add digital signatures etc – great for contracts and questionnaires
  • You can password protect it
  • Download your free reader version here from Adobe



Image File Formats: zip

  • Compressed folder of multiple files making it easier to send
  • Save space and storage
  • Can be easily emailed



Image File Formats: svg

  • Scalable Vector Graphic
  • Similar to .eps files which can be scaled to any size and never lose clarity and preserves the shape and sharpness
  • Open in software like InkScape – which is free and you can then edit
  • Can be easily opened and edited with drawing software like Illustrator, Photoshop etc
  • Can not be opened in Canva, Word, PowerPoint
  • Will open in Internet Explorer – but you won’t be able to edit



Image File Formats: doc

  • Word doc, also can be .docx which is the newer version of Word – safer to save as a .doc to ensure the receiver of your information can open it – not everyone has the newest version
  • Great for writing long docs and combine tables of information and images too
  • Very limited control over text and written content
  • Text and images are a little like oil and water and fight against each other in the layout
  • You can convert to a .pdf doc
  • Convert to ebook or use as printed document



Image File Formats: ppt

  • PowerPoint file, also can be .pptx which is the newer version of PowerPoint – safer to save as a .ppt to ensure the receiver of your information can open it – not everyone has the newest version
  • Handles writing long docs and combining design elements and images
  • Lots of images available from online – just sign in to your microsoft or hotmail account
  • You can also link your YAYimages account to your PowerPoint so that you can add images super quick
  • You can control images and text really well here
  • You can convert to a .pdf, jpeg, TIFF… the list goes on – endless save as options – even mp4!
  • Great to use for webinars, create a presentation and record your screen
  • Also ace for creating ebooks as you can design edge to edge designs and convert to a .pdf file – fantastic for freebies and lead magnets
  • You can also create logos in powerpoint too and save them with transparent backgrounds – all for FREE!

To Sum Up…

How many image file formats are there?! Wow – I hope you now understand all those image file formats and when to use them in your day to day use in your business.

Have you had issues with image file formats before yourself? Has this helped?

Leave a comment below – I’d love to know if this has helped.

Vicki x

Image file formats and when to use them pin