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Portable network graphics (PNG) refers to a raster graphics image format used on websites and Web applications. It is a type of open and bitmapped graphical file format that is built on the concept of lossless data compression. It was created and conceived by the World Wide Web Consortium as a replacement to graphics interchange format (GIF).
Unlike GIF, PNG is completely patent and license free, including its data compression algorithm. It adds on to a GIF and JPEG image format by providing alpha channels, gamma correction and a two-dimensional interlacing feature. Its features make it possible to enhance and modify the image to a greater extent than its predecessors. For example, a PNG image supporting alpha channelscan can have its background changed without inferring with the rest of its appearance. It supports up to 48-bit true color and 16-bit grayscale imagery, and doesn’t deteriorate the image quality if it’s re-saved or formatted.
What PNG lacks is multiple-image support that provides the animations as seen in a GIF.
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