Difference between GIF and PNG

GIF and PNG are types of image formats to store images. Both GIF and PNG are pixelbased image formats. Both use lossless compression algorithms and support transparency. GIF images support animation as well.

Read this article to find out more about GIF and PNG formats and how they are different from each other. Let's start with a brief overview of these two image formats.

What is GIF?

GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format. GIF is an image file format that uses lossless compression algorithm. Therefore, the GIF images are of high quality, but a GIF image supports only 256 colors. GIF format supports transparency in image files. GIF images have ".gif" extension. GIF images also support animation.

GIF images are often used in logo designing or animated image production. They are widely used for short, simple looping animations and images that are easy to share and view on a wide range of devices.

What is PNG?

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. PNG is also an image file format that uses lossless compression algorithm, which means that the quality of the image is not compromised when the file size is reduced. Just like GIF images, PNG images too are of high quality. However, PNG images are generally smaller and consume less memory space than GIF images of the same dimension.

PNG format is a popular choice for storing images on the Internet, as it allows for high−quality images without consuming a lot of bandwidth. Unlike the JPEG image format, which uses lossy compression, PNG files maintain their quality even when they are edited or resized.

PNG format also supports transparency in images. PNG images have ".png" extension. PNG images are used for creating icons and static image creation. The PNG image format does not support animations.

Difference between GIF and PNG

The following table highlights the important differences between GIF and PNG formats −

Stands for GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format. PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics.
Animation GIF images support animation. PNG images do not support animation.
MIME Type GIF images are represented as image/gif. PNG images are represented as image/PNG.
File Size GIF file is larger than PNG image for same image. PNG images is smaller in size.
Transparency One bit transparency is supported. PNG images supports a high level of transparency.
Extensions GIF images use .gif extension. PNG images use .png extension.
Usage GIF images are used when animation is needed. PNG images are generally used in image creation.


The most significant difference between these two image formats is that the GIF format supports animation in the image, while the PNG format does not support animations. GIF is an older format that uses a limited color palette, while PNG is a newer format that uses a broader range of colors to produce high−quality images.

Updated on: 20-Dec-2022


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