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the best file type...


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Really, it depends upon what you plan to use the image for later.

If you want to save a completely lossless version with layers intact for editing later, then .pdn, Paint.NET's native file type, is the way to go.

If you're planning to use the image you just saved as a piece in a compilation later (say you cut a person out from a background and want to put them in a different picture), then PNG is the best choice. PNG saves a flattened (one layer) image while preserving the original color (no color approximation for compression like JPG), along with support for transparency. I'd also suggest using PNG for any image you want to keep at the best possible quality for storage on your own computer - the file size is usually noticeably larger than the same image saved as JPG, but the quality is better preserved and hard drive space is cheap anyway.

If you're planning to use the image as a Desktop background, then JPG is the best choice. Windows doesn't fare well when a PNG is set as the wallpaper.

If you're saving an image for a website design, I'd suggest JPG or PNG. The web does support GIF too, but I just don't like the format - limited palette and dithering for interpolation - and I've found that usually the file size saved by going with GIF over one of the others is negligible.

And really, those are the only formats I use: .pdn, .jpg, and .png. TIFF and TGA are also quality formats that support transparency, but I've really never used them. The few times clients have sent me TIFF files, I've found the rendering to be inconsistent - TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format, and developers love making up their own "Tags", so I've had more than a few problems trying to open up TIFFs from Photoshop in anything else and having them look right. TGA, I've just never needed.

So really, there is no "best" file type. The format you use will depend completely upon what you need it for. Those listed above are the ones I use for common application, and you're free to try them if you wish. ;)

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  • 2 months later...
.... I'd also suggest using PNG for any image you want to keep at the best possible quality for storage on your own computer - the file size is usually noticeably larger than the same image saved as JPG, but the quality is better preserved and hard drive space is cheap anyway.

If you're planning to use the image as a Desktop background, then JPG is the best choice. Windows doesn't fare well when a PNG is set as the wallpaper.

If you're saving an image for a website design, I'd suggest JPG or PNG. The web does support GIF too, but I just don't like the format - limited palette and dithering for interpolation - and I've found that usually the file size saved by going with GIF over one of the others is negligible.....;)

Why does my 28kb jpg become 100kb when I crop and reduce to selection and choose lossless compression when I save it?

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That is like asking "why aren't my files smaller than the originals after I extract them from a ZIP archive?"...

The image was compressed, now its not. Every pixel is being stored at the full bit depth.

 

Take responsibility for your own intelligence. ;) -Rick Brewster

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... The image was compressed, now its not. Every pixel is being stored at the full bit depth.
Thanks for the prompt reply. Combination of compression and loss of information; somehow I became absent-minded to the obvious. :oops: Thanks for not being harsh on an absent-mind.
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Hey, guys, this is a necropost (over three months). Open a new topic if you have a new question. :-) Thanks!

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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