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File Formats > Electronic File Formats > Graphics > PNG
File Format
Name PNG
Extension(s) .png
MIME Type(s) image/png

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) was devised starting in a discussion on newsgroup in 1995, with the first version of its specification released in 1996. The motivation for its creation was to create a free and unencumbered image format in the wake of the patent issue with GIF.

PNG has become a very popular graphic format, but widespread adoption on the Web was slow due to the fact that the first specification came out over a year after the Web had begun to be popular with the general public, meaning that there were many sites and browsers out there not using and supporting the new format; subsequently, browsers began to support it, but often had rendering problems which persisted even in fairly late versions years later; this caused webmasters to be slow to switch from GIF to PNG, though some are doing so now. Since the patent that effected GIF is expired now, the "free format" motivation for the switch no longer applies.


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