Simple diagrams, cartoon-type images, and shapes are best stored on GIF, or Graphic Interchange Format, because it is limited to 256 colors; these are actually the only things that are suited for this format. This format is still widely used for image animation effects because it supports animation. Lossless compression is another reason it is so effective on large areas that have a single color, and is very ineffective on images that are detailed.
BMP, or bitmapped format, is used in Microsoft Windows operating systems to handle graphics images. These files are not usually compressed, which results in large files.
The main advantage to BMP files is that they are simple and widely accepted in the Windows programs. They are not suitable for many of the other operating systems; the large size of these files makes them unsuitable for file transfers. Scanner images and desktop backgrounds are usually stored in BMP files.
Microsoft has introduced another format called WDP, for media print quality and lossless image compression. This is the image standard, as it has a specific applicability to print media. With the ability to handle a much large range of image types, it is similar to the TIFF format.
The X Window System used XPM format as its default picture format; it is very popular in the Linux world. Based on the string format, it is structured like the C programming language. Designed to be human-readable, is stored as uncompressed plain text, and the pictures may be over twice the size as uncompressed binary bitmap files. This format is usually unsupported by non-Unix software and operating systems.
A wavelet compression format used mostly by Geographic Information Systems is called MrSID, or Multiresolution Seamless Image Database format. It stores massive images of map software from satellites.