Because of their fixed resolution, printing bitmap images can easily produce grainy, jaggy, or blurry results if the resolution is not ideally suited to the printer resolution. In addition, bitmap images become grainy when they are scaled larger than their intended resolution. A few bitmap file formats (such as Apple's PICT format) support alpha channels, which allow bitmap images to have transparent backgrounds or an image selection which uses antialiasing. Most common web-based file formats such as GIF, JPEG, and PNG are bitmap file formats. The GIF file format is one of the simplest, low-resolution bitmap file formats, only supporting 256 colors per image. As a result, however, GIF files can be extremely small in file size. Other common bitmap file formats are BMP (Windows bitmap), TGA, and TIFF. Most clip art is provided in a low resolution, bitmap file format which is unsuitable for scaling, transparent backgrounds, or good-quality printed materials. However, bitmap file formats are ideal for photos, especially when combined with lossy data compression algorithms such as those available for JPEG files.
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