What is JPG File: a Comprehensive Guide

blue JPG file icon

JPG files are one of the most widely used image file formats in the world. These image files are great for capturing high-quality images with a small file size, making them easier to store and share online. As such, understanding what a JPG file is and how it works is essential for anyone who works with digital images.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about JPG files, from what is JPG files to their features, advantages. We'll also show you how to work with JPG files effectively, including how to open, edit, and convert them. Whether you're a professional photographer, graphic designer, or just someone who's interested in learning more about digital images, this guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to get the most out of JPG files. So, let's dive into the world of JPG images!

What is a JPG File?

JPG (JPEG) is a common digital image file format. You may ask what does JPG mean? And why the file format is named with these three letters. JPG or JPEG is an acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the standard in 1992. (From Wiki).

The JPG file uses the lossy compression technique and is a raster picture file type. Raster refers to the fact that it is composed of a grid of tiny pixels, each of which is composed of a single color. In a manner similar to a mosaic, the colors are blended to create an image.

The creation of the JPG format has greatly benefited image sharing, as it allows for more efficient compression. With the JPG algorithm, data is compressed on the original image, resulting in smaller file sizes. This makes it incredibly convenient to convert images to JPG and effortlessly share them across various platforms, and many cameras store images as JPG by default. Due to its adaptability and simplicity of use, the JPG file type is one of the most widely used image formats in the world right now.

JPG File Pros & Cons

JPG files can be compressed to load more rapidly on a website, making them a popular choice for storing and processing digital picture data as well as for online graphics. Digital cameras, cellphones, and other devices may be used to take JPG images, make graphics with them, publish them to social media, distribute them via email, and more. Here are the pros and cons of JPG files:


High Resolution:

The JPG format supports 24-bit color (which includes as many as 16 million different colors). This is why JPG photos have been used for encoding and compressing digital images with a high resolution.

File Sizes are Small:

Compared to PNG or RAW files, JPG files are smaller and therefore save more storage space for faster website loading.


It is actually feasible to change a JPG file's level of compression. The ideal trade-off between file size and image quality can be made.


Don't Support Transparent Background or Layers:

If you're dealing with an image that has to be layered or has transparent background, you need to use PNG or TIFF format.

Lower Image Quality:

Utilizes lossy compression, which may result in a little loss of image quality.


So, what is the different between JPG and JPEG? Simply put, there is no difference between them except the name. The two names exist because some early Windows computers only supported three-character extensions, but modern devices recognize both JPG and JPEG and handle them the same. So, there is no difference between JPG and JPEG in terms of image quality or format. Both extensions indicate that the image is compressed using the Joint Photographic Experts Group standard, which employs lossy compression that reduces the file size.


Smaller file size, suitable for pictures and other colorful images
Larger file size, suitable for graphics with fewer colors
Use lossy compression
Lossless compression
Doesn't lose much quality during editing
Usually image quality degrades after editing

When to Save Images in JPG Format?

Online Sharing and Web Usage:

JPG is commonly used for images that will be shared on the internet due to its ability to balance image quality and file size. This format employs lossy compression, which reduces the file size while maintaining a satisfactory level of visual quality, making it easier to upload and share images online.


JPG is the standard format used by digital cameras and other photographic image capture devices. It compresses large image files into manageable sizes

Space-saving Considerations:

JPG is advantageous when storage space is limited or when optimizing website loading times is crucial.

How to Open JPG File?

Opening JPG files is super easy, the exact steps depend on your device.

1. Open in Windows:

Double click on the file with the right mouse button or the left mouse button, then click Open. The built-in application program, such as Photos, will open the image.

2. Open in Mac:

Opening a JPG file on macOS is similar to doing so in Windows. In the MAC operating system, double-click with the left mouse button to open a JPG file. The default program, such as Photos, will open the file by default.

How to Convert JPG File?

Fotor photo editor interface

Professional all-in-one photo editor. A wide range of advanced built-in AI photo editing features is provided, such as background removal, object removal, resolution enlarging, photo retouching, etc.

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Start Editing

The JPG file format is one of the most commonly used formats, so it has very high compatibility and can be accepted by many platforms and devices. If your PDF file does not work on a particular website or platform, then you can convert it to a more compatible JPG or JPEG file format. Conversely, if you want to save your image as a file with a transparent background layer, then you can also convert your JPG file to a PNG image with a transparent background.

With Fotor, you can easily convert your images to different file formats, whether PNG to JPG, WebP to JPG, WebP to JPEG, or HEIC to JPG, Fotor can help you achieve high-quality image conversion in seconds. Moreover, Fotor also supports batch conversion of image files, so that you can say goodbye to the repetitive and slow conversion process.

convert an image to different format with Fotor

How to Edit JPG Image?

To edit JPG files, you can use many different image editing tools such as Fotor mentioned above.

Fotor is a professional image editor that allows you to convert image formats, but also offers a number of easy-to-use photo editing tools that allow you to adjust brightness, add photo effects, flip images, as well as crop, resize, and more. The best part is, Fotor offers a range of AI-driven tools to enhance your image, and professional ready-to-use design templates for you to choose from to maximize your photo editing, so you can freely upload your JPG photos to the templates and adjust the background, text, fonts, stickers and other elements to your liking.

Edit a landscape photo in Fotor photo editor

Final Words

This article discusses what is JPG and its pros and cons, as well as tips on how to open, convert and edit JPG files effectively to maximize their benefits. We hope that by presenting these concepts and tips, we can help alleviate any confusion and assist you in your work. So, open your JPG image now and start editing!