A guide to common computer file formats for novice users

Every user who has a brief use of the computer should be familiar with the type of digital file format. This knowledge is essential because we need them to use files in different places or how to open or execute files. 

What kind of format of a photo to choose for uploading on social networks, or what program to use to create a logo, what software to use, what files we can use in what format, and many other things cause We come across different formats that we definitely need to know to work with. In this article, we are going to get acquainted with a number of common computer file formats.

Common computer file formats

PDF format – Portable Document Format

One of the most common computer file formats, which usually contains text and images. These types of files are easy to run on different platforms. Today, phones, tablets, and personal computers do not require any special software to run a PDF file. However, to edit them, you need to use software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. The ability to design multiple layers is one of the best features in PDF files, which makes editing and arranging these files without much difficulty. It should be noted that if the original file is one of the formats jpg, png or tiff and is saved in PDF format, it is no longer possible to edit such a file.

When to use PDF format: A PDF file is ideal for sharing documents. These types of files can be password protected to protect their content. Thanks to the integration between different platforms, it is the best format for sending documents to other people in different ways.

Common computer file formats

JPEG or JPG format

It is a common format for compressed images, known as JPG or JPEG. Due to the compression of the image in this format, these files do not have multiple layers, so it can not be edited in any way. The recommended standard resolution for a jpg file for printing is 300ppi. Less than this value causes the pixels to appear separately and a sharp drop in image and print quality.

When to use JPEG format: This format is very suitable for images because they maintain image quality despite compression. All image details are preserved in this format without compromising the quality of each layer. This format is also known on all platforms and there is no problem in sharing them between different platforms.

Common computer file formats

PNG format – Portable Network Graphics

PNG files are another type of image and photo file. The biggest advantage of this type of format is maintaining transparency in the background of the image. While in JPG format a transparent background is not defined. The amount of compression and loss of image quality in PNG format is less. Because of this, PNG files are slightly larger than JPEG files.

When to use the PNG format: This is the main use of this type of format on web-based platforms. PNG is an ideal format for logos and graphic images displayed on websites. As mentioned above, a transparent background is protected in this format, so PNG files are great for creating logos for sites.

Graphics Interchangeable Format

GIF format – Graphics Interchangeable Format

You may have encountered these types of files in the media. GIFs are a common file format for animated images. These types of files have the ability to have a clear monochrome background. GIF files are very popular on the web because of the ability to create animated images.

When to use GIF format: You can use GIF format when creating animated images or small icons.

Tag Image File Format

TIFF- Tag Image File Formats

TIFF format is used for compression without loss of image quality. This type of format is very similar to JPG, with the difference that in TIFF the user can edit the image a bit more. Because of this, the size of these files is very high and naturally sharing them on other platforms is also a difficult task.

When to use the TIFF format: This type of format is usually used only by professional photographers. TIFF files maintain the highest quality of an image, and these images can be printed in very large dimensions.   

EPS format – Encapsulated PostScript

EPS files are created for editing by software such as Adobe Illustrator. This is the only format that allows the user to enlarge or reduce the file in any size and maintain the integrity of the image. This type of file sometimes requires programming, because of this difficulty, this format is not common among users.

When to use EPS format – EPS files are suitable for projects such as logos or icons. If you save a logo in EPS format, you can send it to any type of printer, use it on any size, however small or very large.

ID format – Adobe InDesign File

InDesign format is used to complete layers or publications such as e-books, magazines, cards, brochures, or similar applications. InDesign files are one of the best formats to use for printing and have many applications in this field. This format preserves the type of formatting, content, styles, and fonts and linked files.

When to use the InDesign format: This format is used when you have a multi-piece document to complete and you need to strike the right balance between them. There are many tools in the right software for this format that you can use to arrange all the elements of the file properly.

PSD format – Adobe Photoshop Files

This format is quite familiar to users who deal with the famous Photoshop software. Photoshop is a great software for editing images and photos that has many features. When using multiple layers in this software, you can finally combine the edited elements completely or separately.

When to use Photoshop files: Photoshop is great for images. If you want to edit one or more images and combine them, Photoshop is the best tool. Photoshop can also be used for direct image editing on tablets and touch screens.        

AI format – Adobe Illustrator files

  Adobe Illustrator is a unique software because all graphics in this software are created using vectors. This is unique in that lines are used instead of pixels in the design. For this reason, the user can enlarge or reduce the image in any dimension, without damaging the integrity of the image. For this reason, this format is widely used by designers.

When to use Illustrator files: If you want to create artistic images such as logos, you can use these files. There are many tools that help the designer to edit lines, or create multi-layered images that are fully editable.

The number of digital formats is very large and certainly not all of them can be addressed in one article. But here we tried to deal with a number of common computer file formats in the photo and image formats section. In the future, we will deal with more formats in different sections.