THE ART OF GRAPHIX: A full menu for PNG file format

A file with the PNG file extension is referred to as a ‘Portable Network Graphics’ file. This format uses lossless compression, and is generally considered the replacement for the GIF image format.

However, unlike GIF, PNG files do not support animations. The very similar MNG (Multiple-image Network Graphics) format does. But it has yet to gain the kind of popularity that GIF or PNG files have. PNG files are often used to store graphics on websites.

Some operating systems, such as macOS and Ubuntu, also store screenshots in the PNG format by default.

How To Open

a PNG File

The default Windows Photo Viewer program is often used to open PNG files because it is included as part of a standard Windows installation, but there are many other ways to view them.

All web browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) will automatically view PNG files that are opened from the Internet, which means you do not have to download every PNG file you want to look at online.

You can also use the web browser to open PNG files from your computer, by using the Ctrl+O keyboard combination to browse for the file. Here is a little tip. Most browsers also support drag-and-drop, so you might be able to just drag the PNG file into the browser to open it.

There are also several standalone file openers, graphic tools and services that open PNG files. A few popular ones include XnView, IrfanView, FastStone Image Viewer, Google Drive, Eye of GNOME, and gThumb.

To edit PNG files, the XnView program I just mentioned can be used, as well as the Microsoft Windows-included graphics program called Paint, the popular GIMP utility, and the very popular (and very not free) Adobe Photoshop.

How to make a PNG file

Click ‘File’ and then ‘Save for Web & Devices’. On the right, make sure that the ‘Transparency’ box is checked and then click ‘Save’. Name the photo, choose a location, and click ‘Save’ again. To make sure that the transparency has worked, click ‘File’ then ‘Open’, and locate the PNG file created.

How To Convert

a PNG File

Probably every single image file converter that you come across will be able to convert a PNG file to another format (such JPG, PDF, ICO, GIF, BMP, TIF,). There are several options in the Free Image Converter Software Programs list, including some online PNG converters such as FileZigZag and Zamzar.

PicSvg is a website that can be used if you want to convert a PNG to SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics).

Another option for converting a PNG file is to use one of the image viewers. While they exist mainly as ‘openers’ of various image types, some of them support saving/exporting the open PNG file to a different image format. Until we meet again, fill your life with memories as opposed to regrets. Enjoy life and stay on top of your game.

• NB: The columnist welcomes feedback at deedee21bastian@gmail.com

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST: Deidre Marie Bastian is a professionally trained Graphic Designer/Marketing Coordinator with qualifications of M.Sc., B.Sc., A.Sc. She has trained at institutions such as: Miami Lakes Technical Centre, Success Training College, College of the Bahamas, Nova South Eastern University, Learning Tree International, Langevine International and Synergy Bahamas.


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