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What is the full form of GIF?

Full form of GIF: Here, we are going to learn about the GIF, full form of GIF, versions of GIF, usages, advantages and disadvantages.
Submitted by Anushree Goswami, on November 26, 2019

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format

GIF is an abbreviation of Graphics Interchange Format. It is extensively used for animations and still images on the World Wide Web. The image is set out is bitmap image and it consists of a file extension .gif. In 1987, It was launched by CompuServe. The chief idea behind its development is to create an image format that is independent of the platform. Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) lossless data compression method is used to compress GIF images. This method is used to diminish the size of the file without lowering the standard of the image.

The 8-bit format is used in GIF images which keep up with 256 colors. To make new colors, these 256 colors cannot be mixed. It is in-demand on the internet because of its small size and transportability and manageability specifications. It is contemplated prime for line art with a limited amount of colors, images with huge flat regions of color and images that require being high- spirited or animated.

GIF full form

Versions of GIF

GIF categorized into two versions, which are given below,

  • In 1987, the first version was launched as GIF87a.
  • In 1989, the second version which was called GIF89a came into existence which was an extended version of the first version. It is used as a standard format till today.


  • GIFs are appropriate with a limited amount of colors for sharp-edged line art such as a logo.
  • LZW technique is used for data compression so there is no sign of agitation of data loss and it supports flat regions of constant color with effectively stated edges.
  • In small animations and low-resolution clips of film, it can be used.
  • In games, it can be used.
  • To merge GIF files with website background colors, it favors transparent backgrounds to be used.


  • As compared with other file formats, one of the prime benefits of using animated gifs is the size which can be comparatively smaller.
  • It helps in giving a highly professional look to a specific website having animation over a diverse background.
  • It can display movements and emotions that can’t be feasible for a well-organized image.


  • Due to its limited color pattern, in comparison to other image files the animated images designed can sometimes look poorer.
  • Once the animation has already been coded into the authentic gif file, it cannot be edited.
  • It will end up showing a less prudent version of that file because the images will not load immediately when the connection lags a bit.

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