File Formats For Digital Scrapbooking Layouts (1)

File formats are important to understand when you are working with anything digitally on your computer, whether it is photographs or digital scrapbooking layouts or something else. For the purposes of this two part article, we will primarily be discussing digital scrapbooking layouts and the file formats that coordinate with them.

There are seven standard file formats that a typical digital scrapbooker uses, or is familiar with. This is a brief summary of what they are and what they do. If you need more in depth information on file formats, you might wish to check out the Computing Blog here at

Before I get started with the file formats, I would like to explain two terms that I believe are important to understand.

Lossy and Non-Lossy

Lossy Compression is when an image processing software removes information that isn’t important to the viewer. The main advantage with lossy compression is has a very high degree of compression. This allows the file save size to be much smaller except using this format means that much of the original information will be lost in the save. A common file format that uses the lossy compression is the JPG format.

Non-Lossy Compression is the best format for digital scrapbooking for the simple fact that it keeps all of the original information saved within the image. The only bad part is that since the compression rate is so much lower the file sizes are extremely large taking up a much larger amount of space on your computer. Two common non-lossy formats are GIF and BMP.


Probably the most standard file format. This is used the most often because of its smaller saved file size. The problem is, a JPGs compression sacrifice the pictures resolution to create the smaller file size. Another problem with the JPG file format is that each time that you save your file, it gets compressed again and again, and each time that it is compressed you lose more and more of the files original resolution. While it is the most widely used format, it is not the best for digital scrapbooking layouts, especially when you plan to print someday.


This file format is known as a Portable Network Graphic. This format is used to keep the transparency of the layout. This is the format that most digital scrapbooking embellishments and elements come in, allowing for easy placement within a digital layout. While it is okay to use this format to save, it would not be ideal for future printing.

Please see File Formats for Digital Scrapbooking Layouts (2) for more file formats and their explanations.

Nicole Humphrey writes articles for the Scrapbooking Blog and for the Frugal Blog. She also guest blogs on a variety of topics. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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