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Different Formats

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

Wow, we’ve been getting a LOT of questions lately asking how to save an image in a different format. For example, you have a TIFF and want to save it as a JPEG, or maybe you have a BMP and you want to turn it into a GIF. Well, regardless, this is usually a very easy process.

First, open the original image in your favorite imaging program. Now, just hit the File Menu, Save As. Most programs will have a drop box full of various formats you can save your file as. Simply pick the one you want and it’s a done deal.

With one exception—GIFs.

If you are trying to convert an image to a GIF file, that’s an animal of a slightly different color index. It’s not the best format for saving actual photographs, but it works great for stuff like screen shots and drawings.

In some programs, you can just directly save as a GIF, in others, you’ll need to choose to Export, As GIF. Still others want you to “Save for web” (Photoshop CS, for instance). Regardless, you’ll find that many programs just don’t have GIF as an option to “Save As”, so you may need to hunt around for it a bit (still should be under the File menu).

If your program is really picky, you may even need to convert the image mode to “Index Color” before you can save it. There’s usually an option for “Mode” or “Image Mode” under an Image or Edit menu.

Now, if you’re going from a GIF to another format, you may be faced with the reverse problem—you can’t directly save the GIF as a JPEG for instance. In this case, going to that Image Mode menu is your solution. Just change from Index Color to RGB and you’ll be all set.

And finally… you could download a free program called PIXresizer that can change the format with just a few clicks. Check out our review…

Happy Image Saving :-)

~ Steve

P.S. Check out our online Image File Guide for details about the various formats…

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