QuickBooks supports the following image file formats:
- JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
- PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
- GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
- TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
- WMF (Windows Metafile Format)
- EMF (Enhanced Metafile Format)
- BMP (bitmap)
Our list of supported formats is in the order, generally speaking, that we recommend you use them. The format that’s right for you depends on a number of factors.
When choosing a file format, keep in mind that large files take longer to load and redraw. For high-volume tasks such as invoicing, it’s important to choose an image file that offers both high quality and small size. Bitmapped images are based on a series of pixels, or picture elements. Vector images are based on mathematical formulas. It’s easier and more accurate to represent curves in a vector format than a bitmapped format, so the format that’s right for you will also depend on what you are displaying in your image. You’ll need to strike a balance between high quality and small size based on your specific needs.
A JPEG file is a compressed bitmap format that’s best suited for photographs and images that contain smooth color and tone variations. Because of compression, JPEG files save on space. However, the compression isn’t lossless – data is discarded to compress the image.
A PNG file is a compressed bitmap file that offers transparency and lossless compression. The PNG format was created to improve on the GIF format by offering more colors in a small size. It’s a format that was designed for exchanging and displaying images on the internet, and therefore doesn’t support features that professional printers require, such as the CMYK color space.
A GIF file is a bitmap file based on a format originally developed by Compuserve that offers small size based on lossless data compression and transparency. GIF’s support only 256 colors, so it can’t render a photograph as well as a JPEG. But it’s a good choice for logos or artwork with solid blocks of color.
A TIFF file is a flexible yet powerful format originally developed by Adobe that can use lossless compression or remain uncompressed. TIFF files offer color depth, high resolution, and the ability to store vector drawings. TIFF files can even store multiple pages. They’re a good choice where vector-based illustration tools produced line drawings that need to re-produced without degrading quality. If you’re planning to use a TIFF image in QuickBooks that includes color, pay attention to your color space. We’ve observed that QuickBooks works best with images designed for the RGB color space as opposed to CMYK. CYMK is often the default color space for a TIFF image. An image designed for a professional printer in an image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop is often set to use the CMYK color space. Colors may not render on your QuickBooks forms as you expect in that situation.
Like the name suggests, WMF is Microsoft Windows-based format that can store high quality vector images. It supports 16 bits. WMF is the standard format for popular programs, such as Microsoft Office, so there’s a wide variety of clipart available in this format. If you want to quickly create a logo from free clipart, WMF (and its relative EMF) may be a good choice.
EMF is the 32-bit version of WMF. More bits translate into the ability to store more colors. An EMF file can store up to 16,777,216 colors, a big jump over WMF’s 65,536 colors.
BMP, as its name indicates, is an uncompressed bitmap image format. Because images are uncompressed, file sizes are much larger than other file types. For example, it’s not uncommon for a BMP file to be 10 times larger than a PNG of the same image. However, BMP images are widely available, especially in the Windows environment. It may be a reasonable format choice for a small clipart image used on a form. It wouldn’t be suitable as a background for an entire page.
Although the integrated help file for some versions of QuickBooks, such as QuickBooks 2009, only lists 3 file types, all of the file types listed in this article are supported for versions 2009 and later.