WIF is a vector-based image format used exclusively with our nifty Web Image Studio software, and it stands for Web Image Format. It’s not viewable in a browser—and therefore not useable on the web—but it’s necessary for image editing in a vector-based program like WIS. Once you’ve created your fantastic image as a WIF file, you can easily export it as a JPG or PNG for use on the web.
Why do we need another graphics format?
WIF files give you complete control over the image. This means that you can change the size, shape, rotation, and (our favorite) colors of everything in those images—and that’s just a few of the options! By comparison, if you were to edit a JPG in image editing software, you’d have to destructively draw over the existing content. With a WIF file, individual elements of the image can be edited, from the color scheme as a whole, to the smallest corner of an object.
For example, changing the color of a graphic is simply a task of replacing the colors in the color palette:
And rearranging objects involves just selecting them and placing them where you feel they should go:
What’s the importance of being vector-based?
Well, instead of being a flat image composed merely of pixels as most graphics formats are, a vector-based image file is composed of lines and fills. Think of it this way: a JPG of a circle is just a collection of pixels that LOOK like a circle. A circle in a WIF file is an actual circle being drawn by the program.
This means that you can change the shape of that circle, or blow it up to three times its normal size without losing quality.
By comparison, increasing the size of a JPG of a circle will leave the image looking pixelated and/or messy.
So rather than having to use the traditional method of editing a graphic in image editing software and making painstaking changes to create a clean, attractive graphic, Web Image Studio's vector-based image-editing method makes customizing images much easier.
You can see a clear difference when comparing two images resized with and without vector-based image files:
How do I use WIF files?
We're including WIF files in all of our newest themes and graphics packs that correspond to each of the images found therein. This means that you can fully customize these graphics to your liking. All you need to do is open the appropriate WIF file, make your changes, and export to PNG or JPG. Then you can use that image in your theme or elsewhere on your website, just as you would with any other image.
Wanna learn more? Check out the Web Image Studio page.