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What Is a JPG File: Understanding the Format
What Is a JPG File: Understanding the Format

What Is a JPG File: Understanding the Format

by Alexa Davis

If you are still wondering "what is a JPG file", we'll help you figure it out. First of all, is JPEG the same as JPG? Yes, a JPG (or JPEG), pronounced "J-peg" are images of the same type. Sometimes you’ll see the file extension .jpg, while other times you’ll find .jpeg. JPGs are three digits instead of four because older versions of Windows demanded a three digit filename extension. Follow along this article to learn more about JPG.

JPG Meaning

JPG or JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which is the name of a company that created JPG in 1992.

The reason JPG pictures were created was to give people the ability to share compressed images in a more efficient way. The JPG format algorithm compresses data from the original picture to make the file size more compact. This means that you can convert pictures to JPG, and they can be shared much easier, which is vital for sharing over the Internet. Many cameras also store images as JPGs by default.

Removing data does, of course, lower the quality of the image overall, but people generally won’t be able to notice this.

Overall, the JPEG file type is one of the most commonly utilized image formats in the world today due to its versatility and ease of use. It is suitable for used for everything from digital photography to web design to printing photos for display in homes or businesses.

When to Save Images in JPG Format?

JPG files are a popular format for storing images. They make it easy to share photos and other images over the internet, and are even used by some digital cameras. But when should you save an image as a JPG file?

  • The most important thing is that the image should be a photograph or painting, rather than something created in a vector program. Vector images are better saved as SVG or EPS files. For photographs, the JPG encoding is the best choice.
  • When saving a picture in a JPG file type, you can choose the quality of the final file. Higher quality results in better image quality, but also a larger file size. If you want to share your photos online, it's best to use a medium-high quality setting. This will give good results without creating huge files that take too long to download.

In general, if you're not sure what format to use - convert files to JPG! It's the most well-known image format for sharing online, so it will work with almost any device requiring to view your photos.

How to Convert JPG?

The JPG (or JPEG) file format holds a prominent place among the world's image formats. It's possible to convert JPEGs to other formats. If you open a JPG in the Windows Photos app, for example, you can edit it and save it as a PNG file.

  • If you're having trouble with this conversion process or need another formats, there are other options available too. If you want to change a JPG file to a PDF or vice versa online, you can use JPG to PDF and PDF to JPG free converters.
  • With PDF Candy, you can also convert PNG to PDF, BMP to PDF and even TIFF to PDF files in just a couple of mouse clicks absolutely free of charge. This might be handy if you have multiple images of various formats.

Benefits of JPG File Type

Thanks to its many benefits, the JPG has become the most common image format worldwide. People are able to capture JPGs with digital cameras and smartphones, create graphics with the software, upload these pictures to social media, share them on an email, and more besides. JPG pics have many advantages:

  • They offer high resolution. The JPG format supports 24-bit color (which includes as many as 16 million different colors). This is why JPG photos have been used for encoding and compressing digital images with a high resolution.
  • JPEG file sizes are smaller. If you think of JPG to PNG or BMP comparison, the JPGs will be relatively more compact in size. This makes it much more suitable for distributing online or storing.
  • Adjustable compression. It’s actually possible to adjust how much compression a particular JPG file has. You can choose the proper balance between file size and image quality.

What are the Limitations of a JPG File?

JPGs are prevalent for digital images, but they have some disadvantages.

  • JPG images compress data by discarding information as part of the compression process. This can lead to visible artifacts in the resulting image, such as blurriness or pixelation.
  • JPG files also don't support layers or transparency. If you're working with an image that needs to be layered or layered with transparency, you'll need to use a different format for example PNG or TIFF.


Compressed files that reduce the size of the image without a significant loss in quality.Uncompressed files which make them larger than JPG images, but retain more detail and clarity.
Raster format.Vector format more versatile.
Best for photos.Better for line drawings and illustrations with a limited palette.


Lossy compression, 8-bit color depth.Lossless compression, 16-bit color depth.
More accepted across various platforms and devices.May not be as compatible with certain devices or applications.
Commonly used image format on the web.More suitable for high-quality printing or editing purposes.


Smaller in size, best suited for photographs and other images with lots of colors.Larger in size, ideal for images with fewer colors such as logos or symbols.
Lossy compression.Use lossless compression.
Can be edited without losing too much of their quality.Tend to degrade more rapidly during editing.

Overall, JPG file type is great for storing digital photos. But it comes with certain limitations that should be taken into consideration before using JPG image for a project.

How to Open JPG File?

We've answered the question "what is a JPG file", let's now move on to the next one.

Opening a JPEG file is straightforward. It does depend on the device you’re using. As long as you’re familiar with your device and operating system, you shouldn’t find this difficult at all.

On a Windows computer, it’s as simple as opening File Explorer (press the Windows key and E at the same time). You’ll see a folder icon that has a blue clip. Simply click this and find the folder that contains your JPG image.

It's also possible to open the JPG file in a different program than the default. For this,right-click on the file in its location and then hit "Open with". This will bring up different software programs that you can choose from like GIMP, Photoshop, and MS Paint.

How to Edit JPG File?

To edit a JPEG file, you can use a number of different programs such as those mentioned above, depending on what you want to modify. The Windows photo app even has basic editing features like cropping, re-sizing, and rotating. You can also make lighting adjustments, add filters, flip, straighten the image, and change the aspect ratio.

JPG File Type: Tips

  1. JPG files are used for digital images and are often the most suitable format for displaying them on the web.
  2. To reduce the dimensions of a JPG, use an editor to lower the resolution or adjust the JPEG quality setting.
  3. When saving JPG images, ensure that you give them a descriptive name in order to facilitate locating them later.
  4. When sharing JPG files over email or other file-sharing services, use a zip file to compress them and reduce their size.
  5. When transferring large batches of JPG files, use FTP or cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive for maximum efficiency.
  6. Remember that this format is lossy, meaning it lose some information when being compressed and saved.
  7. Always retain a copy of the original file as-is before making any modifications in case you need to restore it later.
  8. To ensure your images look great on all devices, export JPGs as both 72 dpi and 300 dpi versions, depending on where you plan to use them.
  9. Always check the orientation of JPG images before sending them out. Many camera phones and cameras can save images in portrait orientation even if they were taken in landscape mode (and vice versa).

Final Thought

Today we covered the topic of what is a JPG file and how to work with it. Despite being a universal format for transmitting images, JPG or JPEG still doesn’t cover all the needs. It is easy to work with, but sometimes PDF is all takes to make your files comprehensive for everyone. Today we learned how to turn your JPG file to PDF, and you can use these tips to ease your life a bit.

Discover more tools

  • Sometimes you need to change the PDF format, try the "Resize PDF" tool and choose between A4, A5, A3, or the US letter templates.
  • Add a password to your PDF file to keep the information safe with our "Protect PDF" option.
  • Check out "PNG to PDF" to convert directly without first converting PNG to JPG.