BMP (Microsoft Windows bitmap)

The BMP Raster image file format

BMP (bitmap image file, device independent bitmap file format, bitmap) files are raster images used for the storage of bitmap digital images separate from the display device. This file type was formerly used in Microsoft Windows and OS/2. The term bitmap derives from the computer programming idea of a map of bits. BMP images are generally not compressed or they are compressed in a lossless process (such as via ZIP or RAR due to redundant data within the file). JPG is a more preferred image format today, mainly due to the large file size of BMP images that can cause problems or delays when uploading, sending, or downloading said files.

Technical details of BMP files

BMP files are stored as 2D images of various dimensions, colors, and color depths without data compression, color profiles, or alpha channels. BMP images are stored in device-independent bitmap (DIB) formats, meaning the colors are specified for the image, not the specifications of the system. This explains why some BMP images look different on various machines. BMP images can be viewed on any device, including computer and television monitors. The lack of patents makes this image type common throughout technological devices.

More information about the BMP file format

File extension .bmp
File category Raster image
Example file Download example.bmp file (2.7 MiB)
Download example_small.bmp file (487.85 KiB)
Associated programs Adobe Photoshop
MS Paint
Microsoft Photo Editor
Useful links More information on BMP
File conversion Convert a file to BMP
Developer Microsoft