FLIF - Free Lossless Image Format File

What is a FLIF file

Files with a .flif file extension are so-called FLIF files. They contain images saved in the Free Lossless Image Format. The pictures saved as FLIF files are raster images that can contain image data or animation, however always by using lossless compression. They can be used to store a wide variety of images, ranging from photographs, maps, graphics, other kinds of pictures or even images used in the medical profession, such as MRI or x-ray scans. FLIF files were developed to introduce an alternative to other, lossless image files such as PNG, WebP, lossless JPG images, GIF and more. The developers of the file state that the format provides a much smaller compression than other known lossless image file formats. The first stable version of the FLIF format was released in late 2016.

Images saved in the FLIF format support different color space such as RGB and RGBA, and grayscale. The color depth supported by the FLIF image ranges between 1 and 16 bits per channel. The images are made up of two separate headers. One contains important metadata that makes the dimension of the image (height, width), the number of frames for animations, and such. The second header contains information such as details on the encoding of pixel data inside the image file. Optionally, FLIF files can also contain metadata chunks that contain information such as the color profile (ICC) and other non-pixel data. The compression method used by the FLIF file is the Meta-Adaptive Near-Zero Integer Arithmetic Coding (MANIAC) algorithm. Next to a responsive design, many appreciate the no-patents nature of the image format.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open FLIF documents:

  • ImageMagick (Windows, Mac & Linux)
  • XnView (Windows)
Extension FLIF
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