PNG (Portable Network Graphics) Specification, Version 1.2

For list of authors, see Credits.

Status of this Document

This is a revision of the PNG 1.0 specification, which has been published as RFC-2083 and as a W3C Recommendation. The revision has been released by the PNG Development Group but has not been approved by any standards body.

The PNG specification is on a standards track under the purview of ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 24 and is expected to be released eventually as ISO/IEC International Standard 15948. It is the intent of the standards bodies to maintain backward compatibility with this specification. Implementors should periodically check the PNG online resources (see Online Resources) for the current status of PNG documentation.


This document describes PNG (Portable Network Graphics), an extensible file format for the lossless, portable, well-compressed storage of raster images. PNG provides a patent-free replacement for GIF and can also replace many common uses of TIFF. Indexed-color, grayscale, and truecolor images are supported, plus an optional alpha channel. Sample depths range from 1 to 16 bits.

PNG is designed to work well in online viewing applications, such as the World Wide Web, so it is fully streamable with a progressive display option. PNG is robust, providing both full file integrity checking and simple detection of common transmission errors. Also, PNG can store gamma and chromaticity data for improved color matching on heterogeneous platforms.

This specification defines the Internet Media Type "image/png".

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