JPEG Image Conversion and Viewers

Snowbound's imaging products enable you to specify image quality and compression when converting to JPEG. Companies commonly use JPEG compression for storage and Web compatibility.

What Is the JPEG Format?

JPEG (.jpeg, .jfif, .jpg and .jpe) is a standard image compression format developed by and named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is one of the two most common formats for storing and sending images on the Web. JPEG images are full-color images, meaning they are capable of storing 24 bits-per-pixel and using 16 million colors. JPEG is best for compressing full-color or gray-scale images, including photographs and graphic images.

The JPEG format is unique in the aspect that images are compressed based on the human eye. Because the human eye does not pick up subtle color distinctions and high frequency brightness variations, data can be removed without completely changing the image. However, as this data is removed the quality of the image decreases. This is the reason JPEG compression is considered “lossy”.

As with all image compression formats, JPEG has both its advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of the JPEG Format

  • Large compression ratios = shorter file transfer time
  • Full-color information
  • Great for photographs, graphic artwork, banner ads, etc.

Disadvantages of JPEG Format

  • Loss of image quality
  • Sharp edges tend to come out blurry
  • Longer page load time than the GIF Format

History of JPEG

The Joint Photographic Experts Group was formed in 1986 as a joint committee between the International Standards Committee and the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector. The JPEG standard was established in 1992 as a means of adding photos to text terminals and was approved by the group in 1994.

In 1993 the group developed Lossless JPEG using a different algorithm to try and preserve image quality while still reducing the size of the image. Two other standards were later introduced, JPEG2000 and JPEG-LS. These two compression methods were both developed to be lossless/near-lossless as well. Currently JPEG remains the most popular format of the three.


  • Snowbound Software’s JPEG viewer and conversion technology is not susceptible to the Microsoft JPEG GDI security flaw.
  • Losleess JPEG is a format not currently supported by Snowbound. Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Additional Resources for JPEG Conversion and Viewing

Snowbound Software Document Viewing and Conversion Products:

  • RasterMaster Imaging SDK – Build JPEG viewing, manipulation, and conversion, including fully-searchable PDF files, into your applications
  • VirtualViewer Document Processing Application – Securely view, annotate, and print JPEG and other files in a universal viewer
  • SnowBatch Batch Conversion – Faster file conversion to JPEG right from your desktop or server

Important: Avoid surprises and delays. Snowbound Software recommends that, as part of your evaluation process, you test your own sample documents against our products. Though we've been in the document business for almost 20 years, modifications to document formats occur from time to time. Often they don't conform to specifications, but you may find it important to work with them. Snowbound, unlike most of our competitors, develops it own technology. If in the rare case you come across a problem or non-conforming document or image, we can often quickly fix it.

Learn more about Snowbound Software's solutions for check imaging, image conversion and batch file conversion.

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