Photo Printing Online: The Different File Formats For Printing

PDF? JPEG? PNG? Hear all the various file formats but unsure what they are? We’ve created this guide to help you understand the various file formats and how it can better your photo printing online experience.

Lossy vs lossless

Before we start with the different file types that are used for printing, we will be explaining the term lossy and lossless. So each raster image is either lossless or lossy. Lossless image formats captures all the data of you your original file. So when the file may be compressed, it can still be recoverable to its original state. On the other hand, lossy means that some image quality will be lost when the file is compressed or saved. This quality cannot be recovered.


JPEG is lossy raster format which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is one of the widely used formats for photos. One thing you should take note of JPEG is that it has a sliding scale of compression that allows it to decrease file size. However, the more you compress the file size, the more the image will be pixelated – its usually more obvious when you have it printed especially in big sizes. JPEG is great file format to use to print photos especially with no compression – if you are planning to print in big sizes.


PNG which is also known as Portable Network Graphics. It is a lossless format and has a high colour depths. PNG files allows you to save in a transparent background which you can use to layer it over another image using Photoshop, Illustrator. While PNG is more suited for web graphics, you can still print them but the best would be a JPEG file.


PDF (which stands for portable document format) is used to show documents and graphics correctly no matter the device the person is using. Due to its capability in capturing formatted information and printing as they were intended, it is one of the file format that is requested by printers for printing.


TIFF (stands for Tagged Image File Format) is a lossless raster format file. They are usually large files where they store original images without any loss in quality. As it is a high quality, it is often used for professional photography.

Wrapping up

While they are various file formats used for printing, you can still default to JPEG since it is the commonly used. We hope with this guide you will be able to understand the various file formats used for photo printing online. At the moment, Print For Fun only accepts JPEG and PNG file formats on our website.

‘Till next time!