What is the GIF Full form

2021-04-07 10:48:13

GIFs were created in 1987 by Steve Wilhite at CompuServe. Even though the creator himself pronounced it with a soft G, it actually is an abbreviation of Graphics Interchange Format. It was created to send 256 color images in small file sizes as the internet at that time was not very fast.

Pros and Cons of Gifs

Gifs are being used all around the internet for different purposes so they do have their pros, However, being a very old format, it has its disadvantages too.

Pros of Gifs

1.    Gifs have a very small file size so they can be uploaded anytime and anywhere.

2.    They display an image in 256 colors.

3.    Gifs support a transparent background so they can easily be embedded on websites to give a more professional look to them.

4.    They come with lossless compression. 

5.    GIFs are quite suitable for small animations.

6.    Gifs can be made into extremely funny memes.

Cons of Gifs

1.    The format is old so it affects the quality of the animation.

2.    256 might be a lot of colors but not enough these days.

3.    Editing is not possible once you are done with your final product.

4.    A slow internet connection will increase the loading time for it.

Now that the Gifs have been explained, it is time to explore other image formats so you can choose from them according to your needs.

Pros and Cons of JPEG 

Joint Photographic Experts Group or JPEG is another image format that can be used instead of Gif. It will not be able to replace Gifs because it does not have all the functions that a Gif format has. 

Yet, the need for it can be different than gif. This file format discards some data to compress a file making the final file of reduced quality. This format does not use color palettes which means that the user can compress a file in this format as much as they want.

Pros of JPEG

1.    JPEG format uses 24-bit color.

2.    Conversion done with this format is a lossy compression.

3.    It is 1994’s standard image format.

4.    Designers and photographers use this format a lot.

5.    If you can compromise on your image quality for its size, then this is the best format.

Cons of JPEG

1.    It does not support transparency.

2.    It can never be used for logos and icons.

Pros and Cons of PNG

Portable Network Graphic or PNG files also use a 24-bit color that supports transparency. PNG images are more suitable for logos, icons, and flat areas.

Pros of PNG

1.    Uses 24-bit color.

2.    Allows more transparency than the Gif format.

3.    Smaller in size than Gifs.

4.    It can easily be used for logos and icons.

Cons of PNG

1.    Cannot be animated like gifs

2.    Most of the times produce a much larger file size than JPEG





Lossless Compression







24-bit colors






Small file size

As you will notice, none of the file formats support animation other than the Gif format. So, it will be only fair to have a comparison between the three if the format is being used for still images. 

Why not compare Gif to the formats that can have animation in them.

MOV Format

MOV quick time format was created by Apple for the main reason of giving its users to be able to seek easily edited videos. It allows a video file to be separated into numerous tracks and saved in different types of data.

MOV formats have a smooth and elegant design with lossy compression. It helps its users to edit high-quality videos. One drawback of the MOV format is that it can have relatively large file sizes.

AVI Format

Short for Audio Video Interleave, the AVI format was introduced by Microsoft in the early 90s. AVI is supported almost everywhere and was the default format for a lot of camera brands. Macs and PCs both support this format. AVI formats can compress large files into smaller sizes by giving up a little of the quality.

A drawback to the AVI format is that uncompressed files are quite large in size. While AVI is a universal format, Youtube allows uploading of AVI formats with an extension of other formats such as MOV, FLV, 3GP, etc.

MKV Format

MKV is short for Matroshka and was created by Multimedia Container Format. MKV is a lossless format that can allow images, videos, or audios without a limit. Microsoft started to support MKV files back in 2014 and it got big after that. The biggest advantage of MKV files is that it is open-sourced and can support several available codecs.

MKV does not have many disadvantages but the problem is that it is not supported widely. People consider it to be more complicated than AVI or MOV formats.







Lossless format




Can add sound



Small File Size




Widely Supported




Allows Editing







Gifs are being widely used around the world by people but it is not the only file format that the people feel to have the need for. For different needs, different formats can be used. For instance, for image files, the alternative to Gifs can either be JPEG or PNG files. All these three have their qualities which can come in handy according to the needs of every individual. 

However, Gifs allow animation. So, when it comes to animated objects it will be unfair to compare Gifs with image formats. For that purpose, other video formats can be used. Among Gif, MKV, AVI, and MOV format, Gifs format is the one that allows no sound to be added as it originally is an image format. 

All the rest do allow sounds and different advantages over the Gif Format. This certainly does not mean that Gifs will go obsolete but it will only be used for specific purposes which any other file format cannot fulfill.

For all your editing needs whether it be Gif, AVI, MKV, MOV, or even an mp4 file, Filmora X is the way to go.

Learn More: How to Add Music/ Audio to a GIF on Mac?>>>

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Liza Brown

Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.

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