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What is a BMP file: Understanding the Format

What is a BMP file: Understanding the Format

by Alexa Davis
1/3/2023
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BMP file format is an image format with the file extension .bmp. These are often referred to as bitmaps or bitmap images and are also called Device-Independent Bitmap Graphic files. In this article we will take a closer look at what is a BMP file and how to work with this format.

What is a BMP file: BMP Meaning

BMP stands for bitmap. It is a common file format that was first created in the 1990s by Microsoft. The idea behind the format was so that images could be viewed on alternative devices rather than just Windows devices without needing a graphics adapter.

BMP image format contains uncompressed data, which makes them ideal for displaying and storing high-quality images. However, this means that the sizes of .bmp files are often larger than other file types like GIFs and JPEGs.

What is a BMP file: Benefits of BMP

BMP files are great for icons, screengrabs, and 2D photos. They can store color image data as well as monochrome data in a variety of bit/color depths. Though most BMP files are uncompressed and large, you can make them smaller with lossless data compression.

Another benefit of BMP file format is that it allows you to store complex, high-quality images. Each BMP file will store every pixel independently and so the quality and accuracy of the image are maintained.

What’s more, BMP format is universal and can be used by all programs.

How to open BMP

Now that you know what is a BMP file, let's see how to view it. Opening a BMP file is simple. It depends on your device but provided that you’re familiar with your operating system and device, you won’t find it difficult.

To open your BMP image format, you should double-click it with your laptop keypad or mouse. Your image will then be visible in Photos, the default image viewer with Windows. If you open more than one image, switch between them with the right and left arrows.

You can also open your bitmap image using a different program. To do this, you need to right-click the file in the folder and select “Open with.” This will then give you other program options like Photoshop, MS Paint, and GIMP.

How to convert BMP?

If you want to convert a BMP file to another image format, you can do this in a variety of ways. Firstly, you can open up the file in the Windows photo app, then save it as another file type. If you want to convert it to a PDF, you can use a free online BMP to PDF converter.

How to edit BMP?

To edit a BMP file, you can use a range of programs including MS Paint, GIMP, and Photoshop. The program you use depends on what you want to edit about the image. Even if you just open the image with the Windows Photo app you can crop, re-size, rotate, make lighting adjustments, flip the image, add filters, straighten, and change its aspect ratio.

Final Thought

BMP, or bitmap images, are commonly used to share and store some high-quality content. However, with such a large file size, they are hard to send over to other people. With BMP to PDF converter, all the problems are resolved while preserving the quality of the original file.