What Does JPEG Stand For?

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JPEG is a popular file type for saving space and compressing images, but has limitations and potential quality issues when compressing or enlarging. As a raster file type, JPEG groups pixels by color, which can distort images with similar colors. Nevertheless, it is still widely used for digital images and photographs.


JPEG is short for joint photographic experts group. It is the best file type to use for saving space and can be compressed really well. However, there are exceptions when you need a vector file or transparency in the file.


PNG is really good for transparency and great at making crystal clear images for text and logos. Any picture or photo found online should be a JPEG.

For more information about PNGs check out our other vocab page!

Compression and Enlarging

Be careful when compressing or enlarging a JPEG. Image quality issues can arise, such as lossy “JPEG artifacting.” When you compress an image, as you set the JPEG quality lower, you actually tell it you want it to find blocks of color that are very similar that are near each other.

Raster File Type

A JPEG is a raster file type, and instead of having each pixel be its own color and take up memory in the file, a section of pixels will be scrutinized and grouped based on color. For example, if a chunk of pixels is mostly blue, all that section of pixels will be made blue, changing the image. Compressing the image makes it so that instead of writing down information for 72 PPI at a 20-inch image, it is only recording the data for about 60% of it and grouping stuff together for the rest.

Jagged Edges

If you have a lot of similar colors near each other, they tend to be grouped together and create jagged edges. To combat this issue, do not change JPEG image size. Use a photo at its full width and make sure to save the image at the correct size needed.


In conclusion, JPEG is a widely used file type that is great for saving space and compressing images. However, it is important to be aware of its limitations and potential image quality issues that can arise when compressing or enlarging a JPEG. As a raster file type, JPEG groups pixels based on color, which can create jagged edges in images with a lot of similar colors. Despite these limitations, JPEG remains a popular choice for digital images and photographs.

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