GIF Images are one of the main formats used by the WWW to display color images, both photographic and pictographic. GIF images have a maximum of 256 colors and are therefore not best suited for representing true-color photorealistic renderings, or photographic media. However, given that most computer displays only display 256 colors at a time anyways, GIF is a sufficient format for displaying graphics on the Web. Upcoming standards for the WWW will support JPEG images as a de-facto format; JPEG format is more suitable for efficient storage of photographic images with lots of colors, however, compression artifacts make it unsuitable for drawings, schematics, sketches, etc. Therefore, GIF will remain an important format even when JPEG is widely deployed on the web.
Unlike most of the other media types listed below, most WWW browsers can display GIF images ``in-line'' with the text of a document, that is text and images are represented on the same page. Many other media types require special ``off-line'' viewers.
Figure 1 shows the Media Browser's GIF display panel displaying an engineering drawing.