September 30, 2022

What is the WebP file format?

You may have noticed the recent appearance of an online image format in your browser, especially if you have a blog or want to save images you find online. It’s called WebP, a format that’s been around for a while but is now beginning to be adopted more widely by websites around the world. If you are curious, we have the answers. Our FAQ explains how it works and what you need to know about using it!

What is the WebP file format?

WebP is an image format designed by Google in 2010, created specifically for online images on websites and aimed at web developers. WebP was designed to be a lighter, faster file format that could help save valuable space on servers and make it easier to support high-quality images without causing loading issues in busy browsers . It has a number of advantages, including the use of predictive code to create image files and offers support for lossless (focused on preserving detail) and lossy (focused on saving data) compression. space with smaller file sizes).

What is predictive coding?

This is a very efficient method for creating or converting images. It uses an algorithm that analyzes pixels and predicts what nearby pixels should look like – their colors and other important information. This prediction is based on an analysis of many different web images and their likely behavior. It’s a bit of a dynamic AMD’s DLSS and FSR upscaling that we’ve seen from major graphics card makers.

The advantage of using predictive coding for images is that pixel information only needs to be included if it does. not respond to the prediction. With fairly accurate predictive modeling, this can save a significant amount of space on image files.

Which browsers support WebP?

WebP is supported by most major browsers. Currently, it works with Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, and Opera, as well as a wide variety of extensions and tools. As WebP’s popularity has started to grow in recent years, more support continues to be added.

Getty images on Google.
Google

What are the advantages of WebP over formats such as PNG or JPEG?

  • Lossless images using WebP save space. They are about 26% smaller than PNGs while still allowing transparency. This means that websites, especially those with lots of images, can load faster for users and can even improve search engine rankings.
  • Similarly, lossy images also save space with WebP. WebP lossy images are between 25% and 34% smaller than similar JPEG images. They can also outperform JPEGs when it comes to shrinking images without seriously sacrificing appearance.
  • Google has made the full source code available for WebP and has included tools to make using the format especially easy for developers.
  • WebP can also be used to create animated images similarly to GIFs, with even greater potential for better compression than static images.

Are there any downsides to using WebP?

  • WebP is designed for online images. This means that it is not really compatible with photo apps or other photography software. Photographers will generally want to use higher quality lossless formats that they know will work with their preferred platforms.
  • While many popular browsers support WebP, others do not. Browsers like Tor or Internet Explorer have trouble supporting these images.
  • Although WebP can help make animated files smaller than GIFs, some have complained that decoding the animated image takes much longer than decoding a GIF.
  • Some online development tools do not yet support WebP. The most notable example is WordPress. Those working with software like this cannot rely on WebP images at this time, although hopefully support will continue to increase.

What software can open WebP files?

The There are many options for opening WebP files. The browsers we’ve mentioned, like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, will natively open WebP files for you, so you can still work with them in a browser. Online image editing tools, like ImageMagick or Pixlr, can also handle them. Adobe Photoshop and Paintshop Pro can also handle WebP.

Saving a WebP file in Pixlr.

Can I convert WebP files?

Yes, easily. The editing tools we mentioned above, like Photoshop, ImageMagick, and many more, will give you the ability to convert your WebP files to something like JPEG or PNG. Look for the Save As option when you’re ready to convert, and you should see options to change the format before saving the image. This trick also works on native applications such as Preview on MacOS and Paint on Windows. For developers, Google has a precompiled cwebp converter tool that can be added to applications.

Are WebP files safe to use?

WebP files are as safe as JPEGs and other image formats. Links to image files can always lead you to malware, and image files can be implanted with viruses. Only download WebP images from a trusted source and you should be fine.

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