The full form of PNG is Portable Network Graphics. It is a file format used for storing raster graphics, commonly used for images on the internet. It was developed as an alternative to the GIF format, which had limitations such as limited colour support and patent issues.
PNG files support lossless compression, meaning that the image quality is not compromised when the file size is reduced. This format also allows for transparency, which makes it suitable for images with irregular or non-rectangular shapes. PNG files are widely supported by web browsers and image editing software.
History of PNG
In 1995, a group of developers and engineers recognized the need for a replacement for the GIF format. Led by Thomas Boutell, they formed the PNG Development Group to develop a new image format that would be free from patent and licensing restrictions.
Applications of PNG
Listed below are some of the common applications of PNG:
- Web Graphics
- Digital Art and Design
- Image Editing and Manipulation
- Print Design
- Technical and Scientific Graphics
- User Interface Elements
- Screen Captures
- Image Archiving
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Advantages of PNG
Here are some of the advantages of PNG:
- PNG uses lossless compression, meaning that no image data is lost during compression. This ensures that the image quality remains intact, even after multiple saves or edits.
- PNG supports alpha channel transparency, allowing images to have areas that are fully or partially transparent. This feature is crucial for creating graphics with irregular or non-rectangular shapes that seamlessly blend into different backgrounds.
- PNG supports a wide range of colour depths, including 24-bit true colour images, grayscale images, and indexed colour images. This flexibility makes it suitable for various types of images, from simple graphics to complex photographs.
- PNG supports storing textual information such as image metadata and annotations. This allows for embedding additional details about the image, such as author information, copyright notices, and descriptions.
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