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GIF Format Overview

This topic provides information about the native GIF codec available through the Windows Imaging Component (WIC).

Codec Identity

The following table provides codec identification information.

Formal Name(s)Graphics Interchange Format 89a (GIF)
File Name Extension(s)gif
MIME typeimage/gif
Specification SupportGIF Specification 89a/89m


The following table lists the GUIDs used to identify the native GIF codec components.

ComponentFriendly NameGUID
Container FormatGUID_ContainerFormatGif1f8a5601-7d4d-4cbd-9c821bc8d4eeb9a5



The WIC encoding API are designed to be codec-independent and image encoding for WIC-enabled codecs is essentially the same. For more information about image encoding using the WIC API, see the Encoding Overview.

Encoder Options

WIC-enabled codecs differ at the encoding option level. Encoder options reflect the capabilities of an image encoder and each native codec supports a set of these encoder options. Encoder options can be basic WIC supported options available to all WIC enabled codes (though not necessarily supported) or codec-specific options designed by the image format codec. To manage these encoding options during the encoding process, WIC uses the IPropertyBag2 interface . For more information about using the IPropertyBag2 interface for WIC encoding , see the Encoding Overview.

The GIF encoder does not support any basic WIC options and does not provide custom encoder options. If an encoder option is in the IPropertyBag2 option list, it is ignored.


The WIC decoding API are designed to be codec-independent and image decoding for WIC-enabled codecs is essentially the same. For more information about image decoding, see the Decoding Overview. For more information about using decoded image data, see the Bitmap Sources Overview.



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