Knowledge Base

File extension description in German
File extension description in French

File Extension GIF

The file extension GIF is associated with graphics. It is an image format commonly used by a wide variety of programs and applications. GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format and was originally developed as a bitmap image format. This format is now widely used with Web applications due to portability and compatibility with numerous applications.

GIF files are an image file type that contains 8-bit images that are capable of referencing up to 256 different colors selected from the 24-bit RGB (red, green, blue) color palette. RGB represents a system that delivers colors on your PC display screen and is a color mode that works well with Web applications and files that are to be printed using a commercial printing device.

GIF files can also contain animated images that are used for website components, such as functional buttons and icons and other components which are used to navigate to different areas of a website. GIF extension is the most suitable for small images and logos. However, if you want clarity for photos and images, use the JPG or JPEG format. GIF is not capable of providing quality in photos and images in terms of clarity and contrast.

How to Open GIF Files

The file extension GIF is supported by an endless variety of applications, so you may already have a needed application installed on your PC. Double click on the file to see if it will automatically open in a default program you have installed on your PC.

If you use Windows, you can open GIF files with Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer, which typically comes preinstalled on the Windows operating system. You can also use CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 or Corel PaintShop Pro X4. Other programs include Adobe Photoshop CS6, which is part of the Adobe Creative Suite of applications available as a free trial version on the Adobe website, and ACDSee Photo Manager 14.

For Mac OS X, you can use Apple Preview to open GIF files. Apple Preview typically comes preinstalled on Mac operating systems. You can also use Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe Illustrator CS6, or Roxio Toast to open GIF files. Other programs include Apple Safari Web browser and Adobe Photoshop Elements 11.

If you use the Linux operating system, you can open GIF files with GIMP, which is an open source image and graphics editor available as a free download on the website. GIMP is multiplatform and will work with the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems as well.