The Graphics Interchange Format, which is marked by the extension gif, is suitable for bitmap images and animations. It is one of the early formats and has been used on the World Wide Web from the beginning.
It is particularly suitable for graphics with uniform color areas and clear edges, such as logos or banners. GIF only supports 256 colors and therefore can not reproduce color gradients well. Therefore, the format is not suitable for digital photography or the like.
The 256 colors are in a table and can be chosen freely from the RGB color space. GIF also supports transparency. Due to the low number of colors and the lossless compression, GIF files are usually very small.
A GIF file can also contain an animation or a controlled image sequence.
With a trick, TrueColor GIFs can be generated, ie with full RGB color gamut. However, these are not displayed correctly by some browsers.
There are two versions of GIF 87a and 89a, the former being irrelevant today.
GIF is now obsolete and is increasingly displaced by PNG, JPEG and Flash.
Most often resolving problems with opening GIF files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support GIF files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of GIF files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.
It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate GIF files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the Safari applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where Safari has been installed.
Sometimes problems with opening GIF files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as: