GIF is an abbreviation for Graphic Interchange Format. It is an 8-bit-per-pixel, bitmap image format and encoding standard developed by CompuServe in 1987. GIF images are compressed using the Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality for the efficient transfer of color images over a low speed network connection. Although widely used, it is a proprietary format and the LZW algorithm is patented.
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