PNG, Portable Network Graphics (.png)

The PNG Raster image file format

PNG files (which are commonly called "ping") are a format that contain bitmapped or raster images. Originally, the PNG image format was created to take over from the GIF format since they both have the ability to display transparent backgrounds. Another similarity between the two is the use of indexed colors and lossless compression. PNG files, however, do not have the same copyright limitations. Also, contrary to the GIF images, files with the PNG extension do not support annimation.

Technical details of PNG files

Image files with a PNG extension are a better alternative than GIF files since they include an transparency channel (8-bit), while also supporting 24-bit RGB color palettes, RGB images, and greyscale. PNG files were introduced to make the transfer of images on the wed a lot easier. However, PNG files are not meant to be adept graphics and thus they do not support CMYK or other color spaces.

More information about the PNG file format

File extension .png
File category Raster image
Example file Download example_alpha.png file (3.8 MiB)
Download example.png file (16.5 MiB)
Download example_small.png file (325.40 KiB)
Associated programs Microsoft Windows Photos
Microsoft Paint
Adobe Photoshop CC
Useful links Know more about PNG files
File conversion Convert a file to PNG
Developer PNG Development Group (donated to W3C)