BMP file format: extension description

Very often, when working with graphics, many users are faced with images in the BMP format. Today, few people know what it is. We will now look at the BMP graphic format in more detail. Moreover, we will not only trace the history of its origin and evolution, but also offer some simplest methods for converting it into other popular formats.

What is BMP format?

We will not particularly go into technical details. Note that BMP is a format for storing graphic images in the form of a bitmap based on single-layer rasters.

bmp format

Yes this is true. Initially, the BMP image format was applied exclusively to raster images and was a universal (standard) extension for all graphics in general.

History of

The history of this format is inextricably linked with Microsoft, which first implemented it in its main brainchild - the Windows operating system. In addition, despite the constant competition with Apple, support for these types of graphics was later announced for OS / 2 OSes.

True, since then the BMP-format of graphics has undergone many changes.Initially it was assumed that the image structure is based on a combination of small squares, today known as pixels. It is believed that each pixel of the image may contain data on a different color depth (the number of bits per one such graphic unit). The values ​​used to indicate the bit depth of the color look like the following row: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, 48, 64 bits.

bmp file format

At the same time, for values ​​less than 8, the color is indicated only using the index of the palette (table) of shades, and for the values ​​above, the index is taken from the standard RGB model. The latter contains variations of colors obtained on the basis of mixing red, green and blue.

As is already clear, the higher the bit depth, the larger the size of the final image will be. I must say that the format of the BMP file and in those days, and today it looks like a kind of mastodon, because its size is quite large. This is due to the fact that the image itself is uncompressed, compared to, say, the same JPG format. In size, files with different types of extensions that contain the same image may differ not only hundreds of times, tens of thousands of times.

How to open BMP file format?

As for opening images of this type, any Windows operating system has built-in tools for this.

bmp image format

Applications for viewing have not yet been created; the main editing tool has remained the native Paint program, which is part of any version of Windows. Then this application only supported the BMP format.

As is already clear, with the development of technology and the evolution of the format itself, the program has also changed. Today, Paint's capabilities are much higher than its initial versions.

In addition, with the advent of programs for viewing and editing graphics, the BMP file format was announced in and in technical support. It is not surprising, because it was he who was the “great-grandfather” of practically all the extensions of image files known today.

There are a lot of programs for working with such graphic data. Among the viewers, for example, in Windows, you can use the standard tool; among third-party applications, software packages such as ACDSee or Irfan View and many others are quite popular.

As for editing, you can use anything for work, for example, the same Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw or any other graphics editor that has even a minimal set of tools and features.

The easiest way to convert bmp format

Now let's see how to change the BMP format in the simplest ways. To do this, you can use all the same graphic editors.

graphic format bmp

If we take the standard Paint application as an example, first the BMP file is opened in it, then the Save As ... command is selected from the File menu, where in the root, in the bottom line (drop-down menu) you can find the supported formats.

Actually, in any other graphical editor, the technology of transformation of a bitmap is similar to the one described above. In some applications, you can find export commands, which, in principle, do not differ much, since using them the whole procedure again boils down only to the choice of another supported graphic format that is different from the original BMP.

Using converters

One of the easiest ways to convert a different type of image into BMP, not to mention the use of standard Windows tools and graphic editors, is to use specialized converters that work in automatic mode.

how to change bmp format

Everything is simple. The user adds the graphic files to be converted into the program window, then selects the final format (in this case, BMP) and presses the start button of the conversion process.The final files in the new form will be saved in a folder whose location is set in the application by default or manually set.

By the way, the same applies to the reverse process, when you need to convert the BMP-format to some other.

With all the many programs of such direction on the Internet, you can find a lot of resources that allow such transformations to be done online. Only in this case, the user uploads files to the site, selects the final format, and then downloads the result to his computer. Agree, compared to the first two methods, it is not very convenient.


Here, in brief, is all that can be said about the BMP graphics format. For obvious reasons, the technical side of the issue was not considered in terms of file structure. The average user is unlikely to say such data.

But in conclusion, I would like to add a few words about the conversion of graphic files into the uncompressed BMP format. Of course, its current version takes up less disk space. But it is still different from the more modern compressed data types. In principle, the BMP format itself can even be called somewhat obsolete, since few people use it today.Therefore, the conversion of compressed formats to the type of graphic files with the extension .bmp at the present stage seems to be clearly inappropriate.

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