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Which File Type Do I Use?

April 29, 2011

When saving pictures on your computer, do you know which file type (pdf, jpg, etc.) you should use when given the option? You must consider how your graphic will be used, quality, and space. TechSmith provides an article outlining different file types and when you would want to use each type. If you are saving pictures to use in D2L, choose either *.jpg or *.png because of the small file size. *PNG has better clarity that *JPG.

Quick List of file types:

  • PNG – small file size, easily compressed, viewed through most browsers. Great for online, PowerPoints, and documents
  • JPG – small file size, some blurring when compressed, viewed through most browsers. This is the general form that most digital cameras use.
  • GIF – small file size, but has a color problem when compressed.
  • BMP –very large file size, does not compress.
  • TIF – similar to PNG, but designed to be used with MACs not PCs.
  • SWF – supports active links and hotspots. Must use a flash player to view the SWF file.

In summary, if you are choosing a file type that does not have active links or hotspots, chose the PNG. For more information, see the following article:

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