How to Choose the Right File Format When E-Mailing Photos - dummies

How to Choose the Right File Format When E-Mailing Photos

By Dan Gookin

An important factor to note when sending an image is to send it in the proper graphics file format. Not all images have the same format. As computer graphics have evolved and various image editors developed, a slew of graphics file formats have come and gone. Some are well suited for sending e-mail, and some are better suited for image editing.

The best formats for sending e-mail photo attachments are JPG and PNG. These are also the most common formats, widely used on the web. The images look good, and the file size is small.

Among the worst formats for sending e-mail photo attachments are TIFF and BMP. They’re graphics file formats, but the file size is huge. In addition to these file formats, the graphics file formats native to image-editing software, such as the PSD format used by Adobe Photoshop, are inappropriate to send unless the recipient asks for such file formats and also has the software to open and edit those images.

To convert a TIFF, BMP, PSD or another type of graphics file into the JPG or PNG format, use image-editing software. Open the file and then use the File→Export or File→Save As commands to save the file using another graphics file format. Further, if you have the skills, consider resizing the image before you save it in the new file format.

  • JPG is also written JPEG.

  • The GIF image format is also small, but has limited resolution for photographs. PNG is a better choice.

  • TIFF images are used primarily in applications. Although you can e-mail them, unless the recipient requires the file in TIFF format, you’re wasting time.