Supported Image Formats Guide

This document introduces you to the many Symbian supported data formats.


The Symbian platform provides support for many audio, video and image formats as part of the Multimedia Framework out of the box to shorten development and integration by device manufactures, device implementors and application developers.

Architectural Relationship

The formats described in this document form part of the Multimedia subsystem.


The symbian supported formats are as follows:

  • BMP This is an image file format used to store bitmap digital images, especially the form at used by Windows. It sometimes called as bitmap or DIB (device-independent bitmap) file format.

  • GIF Graphics Interchange Format is a common file format licensed by Unisys. The first format of GIF was called as GIF87a, this is 8 bit single image with 256 colour level. And another updated GIF format is GIF89a, this is a multiple image format which support animation, transparency, and interlacing.

  • JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group is an image format, approved by ISO (International Organization for Standardization ) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission ) group of experts to develop and maintain standards for a suite of compression algorithms for computer image files.

  • JFIF JPEG File Interchange Format is a file format created by the Independent JPEG Group (IJG) for the transport of single JPEG-compressed images.

  • MBM MyBitmap (MBM) is a Symbian platform Bitmap format.

  • PNG Portable Network Graphics is an image format similar to the GIF format but with no licensing issues. This format is pronounced "ping".

  • TIFF/F Tagged Image File Format/Fax is an image format for fax transmission.

  • WBMP Wireless Bitmap format is an image format for the WAP devices.

  • EXIF Exchangeable image file format is specially used by digital cameras.

  • PPM Portable Pixel Map is an image format traditionally used on Unix systems. This is a lowest common denominator colour image file format.

  • OTA Over The Air bitmap format is an image format used for Short Message Service.

  • ICO Icon Image File Format is mainly used for icons.

  • WMF Windows Metafile Format is mainly used for GIF and JPEG vector graphics formats.

For more information about the decoder / the encoder supported image formats, see Supported Image Format For Encoder / Decoder

Using Supported Formats

The Supported Formats are used for the following:

  • JPEG and TIFF image formats are used for the colour sampling and the quality factor information.

  • GIF image format is used for the background colour information.

  • MBM, PNG and ICO image formats are used for holding the image frame data information.

  • BMP image format is used for holding the bits per pixel information and the compression information. It is only used when configuring the BMP encoder.