This is information on File formats provided in Help file of  MGI Photo Suite:

[See also Color Depths].

Images are stored in a variety of file formats. Many different image file formats have been developed over the years for specific applications and hardware. MGI PhotoSuite supports a large number of commonly used file formats. These include.

Windows Bitmap (BMP)

The Windows Bitmap file format is the standard file format used by Microsoft Windows. Bitmap files can contain either 2 (black and white), 16, 256 or 16.7 million colors. Most Windows Bitmap files are not compressed. It is possible to save 16 and 256 color images in a compressed format (See Run-Length Encoded below) but some applications (notably Windows Paintbrush) are not able to read the compressed files.

The default file extension for Windows Bitmap files is “.BMP”. Occasionally you may see bitmap files with the extension “.DIB”.

Windows Run-Length Encoded (RLE)

The RLE format is a variation of the Windows BMP format that offers a modest degree of image compression. It has two primary uses under Windows. It can be used to create compressed wallpaper files and it can be used to replace the opening Windows logo screen with a file of your own choosing. RLE files are always either 16 or 256 color image files.

The default file extension for Windows RLE Bitmap files is “.RLE”.

CompuServe Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)

The GIF file format was developed by CompuServe Inc. for use on their on-line service. GIF files are color-mapped files that can have anywhere from 2 to 256 colors. MGI PhotoSuite supports both the 87a and 89a versions of the GIF standard. GIF files are always compressed and offer an efficient way to store large images.

The default file extension for CompuServe Graphics Interchange Format files is “.GIF”.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG)

The JPEG format uses a method of compression that reduces photo image file size by selectively reducing image detail and by transforming the image data into a format more suited for compression. Photos with fewer details compress extremely well, while pictures with a high degree of random detail may show some degree of image degradation. The relative amount of detail removed is specified by the JPEG quality item in the “Save Image" file selector. Because of it's efficient compression, JPEG is an excellent format to use if you plan to upload photos to the Internet. It is not the best format to use if you plan on editing the photo, however, because each time you re-save the photo, there will be some picture degradation. This is referred to as “Lossy” compression, where some image information is lost in the interest of better compression. For editing purposes, use a format like TIFF or BMP, and then save to JPG as your final image.

Tip: At the default value of 75, relatively little picture degradation will take place, and a significant amount of compression will be obtained. Lower values will give you even better compression, but with a marked loss of image quality. JPEG images are either true color or grayscale (256 shades of gray).

Note: The MGI PhotoSuite JPEG implementation is based in part on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.

The default file extension for JPEG files is “.JPG”.

FlashPix (FPX) – available only with the 32­bit version of MGI PhotoSuite
A FlashPix file contains the complete image plus several smaller copies, all within the same file. This has the advantage of producing high­quality printouts using the higher resolutions, along with fast image manipulation by using the smaller resolutions for screen display. Images at each resolution are also divided into tiles, which enables the application to minimize the amount of data processed while accessing, displaying or printing a portion of the screen content. MGI PhotoSuite will load .FPX images and preserve all transformations, and also has the ability to save your image to .FPX for loading into other programs that support FlashPix.

MGI PhotoSuite is well suited to creating original .FPX files from your scanner or digital camera originals. Note that FlashPix uses JPEG compression, which means some picture degradation will take place if the file is saved multiple times in .FPX format. For editing purposes, use a format like TIF or BMP before saving to .FPX, and then save to .FPX as your final image.
Photo CD (PCD)

The Photo CD format is a proprietary format developed by Eastman to store digitized photographic images on CD-ROM disks. These images are always converted to true color (24-bit) images when loaded into MGI PhotoSuite. Photo CD CD-ROM disks produced according to specifications include one or more Photo CD images as well as an overview file containing small “thumbnail” versions of each image on the disk. The Photo CD image files always reside in a directory named d:\PHOTO_CD\IMAGES on a Photo CD disk.

However, you may also encounter Photo CD image files on networks, bulletin boards and other types of CD-ROM disks which lack the overview file. MGI PhotoSuite can read Photo CD files even in the absence of the overview file, by using the file selector to select the Photo CD file by name.

Note: MGI PhotoSuite does not save images in Photo CD file format. If you wish to save an image you have loaded from a Photo CD file, we suggest you choose either the JPEG or TIFF file format.

Each Photo CD file contains a number of scans of the same image at a number of different resolutions. MGI PhotoSuite supports the following Photo CD resolutions: 192x128 pixels, 384x256 pixels, 768x512 pixels, 1536x1024 pixels and 3072x2048 pixels. If you only have four megabytes of memory installed in your computer, you may not have sufficient free memory to edit the 1536x1024 or 3072x2048 pixel Photo CD formats.

The default file extension for Photo CD files is “.PCD”.

Truevision Targa (TGA)

The Truevision Targa format was originally developed by Truevision Inc. for use with their line of graphic display cards. The Targa format is used by several high-end paint and CAD programs. Color resolutions range from 256 color, 32768 (16-bit) color, 24-bit true color and 32-bit true color formats. The 32-bit Targa format contains 24 bits of color data as well as 8 bits of transparency (overlay) data. MGI PhotoSuite extracts the color data from 32-bit Targa files but ignores the transparency data. Targa images exist in both compressed and uncompressed formats.

The default file extension for Targa files is “.TGA”.

PC Paintbrush (PCX)

PCX files were originally developed for Z-Soft’s PC Paintbrush package. These files come in monochrome, 16 color, 256 color and true color (24-bit) varieties. PCX files are compressed using a method that offers a modest degree of compression compared to other compression formats.

The default file extension for PC Paintbrush files is “.PCX”.

Tagged Image File Format (TIF)

The TIFF format was developed by Microsoft and Aldus Corporations as a portable method of storing bitmap images. MGI PhotoSuite supports the current 6.0 specification for TIFF files. TIFF files come in monochrome, 16-color, 256-color, 16-color grayscale, 256-color grayscale and true color (24-bit) varieties. When saving files in the TIFF format, MGI PhotoSuite automatically recognizes that an image is in grayscale format and saves it in the appropriate format.

TIFF files exist in both compressed and uncompressed formats. The compression format offers a high degree of compression. However, certain older paint programs that use an early version of the TIFF format may have difficulty reading compressed TIFF files. If you find that a program will not read the compressed files, try saving the file in the uncompressed format.

The default file extension for TIFF files is “.TIF”.

MGI Album File (CTF)

The CTF format was developed by MGI as a means to store thumbnails for cataloging images and multimedia files. Thumbnails of images can be either 256- or 16-million colors and one of any nine sizes, allowing great flexibility in size vs. quality vs. performance.
• Did you know that thumbnails (miniature visual representations of your photos) are great for keeping your photos organized and in full view whenever you want them? Consider how much easier it is to choose the photo you want to work with in MGI PhotoSuite when a whole group of your photos can be displayed at once, in thumbnail form. As well, you can use this feature to create a series of albums, each one containing photos relating to a particular theme, such as your wedding or recent ski trip. From there, you can build slideshows to present the photos in any sequence you set! 

Thumbnails of photos can be either 256­ or 16­million colors and one of any nine sizes. You can change display options as desired.

See Color Depths.