BMP is one of the many file saving formats used by an operating system. BMP (extension .bmp), or standard windows bitmap, is an image and graphic file format that is specifically designed to be compatible with DOS- (disk operating system) and Windows-based computers. BMP images are basically collections of bits (or pixels) that come together to form an image. BMP images are also called paint or raster images.
Storage of Complex Images
BMP files are especially useful for the storage of complex, real-world images. Intricate images, in conjunction with photographic equipment and video elements, can be easily stored in BMP format. Each BMP file is comprised of a BMP file- header (that has information about the layout, size and type of a particular BMP file), BMP-information header (that specifies the colour format and exact dimensions of a BMP file), a colour table (that specifies the colours employed by the file) and an array of bites that are arranged to make a blueprint of the final BMP image.
BMP files store each pixel (or dot of colour) independently, therefore maintaining the accuracy and quality of the stored image. They can represent complex images and shapes and retain image properties even when the image is magnified. BMP images can display complex gradations of shades and colours. BMP supports a pixel colour depth running from 1-bit through 24-bit. A 1-bit colour depth refers to a monochrome (black and white) pixel. A 1-bit BMP image is made up of pixels that can contain a value of either 0 (representing black) or 1 (representing white). The resulting image will therefore be black-and-white. A 24 bit BMP image is made up of pixels that are comprised of 256 possible states (or colour gradients) each. The image is made up of a 256 x 256 pixel grid resulting in a total of 16,777,216 colours.
The BMP file format is universal and can be used with almost any program. Images stored in the BMP format can be used for symbolic, iconic and graphical representation, to form font logos and Web images. BMP image formats are compatible with all Windows programs, including older, obsolete versions.