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What is the full form of GIF

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It is a bitmap image having a file extension .gif. It is widely used for still images and animations on the World Wide Web. It was introduced by CompuServe in 1987. The main motto of its development is to develop a platform independent image format. GIF images are compressed by using Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique. This technique is used to reduce the file size without degrading the quality of the image.

GIF images uses 8 bit format which supports 256 colors. These colors cannot be mixed to make new colors. It is very popular on internet due to its small size and portability feature. It is considered best for line art with limited colors, images with large flat areas of color and for images that need to be animated.

GIF full form

Versions of GIF

GIF has only two versions:

  • The first version was introduced in 1987 as GIF87a.
  • The second version was an extended version and came in existence in 1989. It was called GIF89a and it is used until today as the standard format.


  • GIF are suitable for sharp-edged line art (such as logo) with a limited number of colors.
  • It uses the LZW technique for data compression so there is no fear of data loss and it favors flat areas of uniform color with well defined edges.
  • It can be used in small animations and low resolution film clip.
  • It can be used in games.
  • It supports transparent backgrounds so it can be used to blend GIF files with website background colors.
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