Introduction to Portable Network Graphics

PNG is an image format which has been supported since 1997 by browsers from Netscape and Microsoft.  It is a standard supported by the World Wide Web Consortium.  A lossless format like GIF, but it compresses the picture better and supports full color imagery (up to 48 bits per pixel!).

The picture below is an RP-133 conformant SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) video test pattern.  If you click on it, you will be brought to a small gallery of great PNG images.

small SMPTE RP-133 pattern
PNG Gallery

[PNG (apps) now!]
Visit the PNG home page at:

For (many of) those looking for a free way to look at PNG images now, I discovered a really nice freeware utility called IrfanView.  It is available from Irfan Skiljan.  It is a Microsoft Windows application which supports a wide variety of graphic formats. Conversion between the formats is easy, and it has a large selection of image filters and other effects.

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Accesses since 1998-08-15
Last updated 2010-11-21
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