Everything you should know about WebP: what it is, advantages and how to open images of this type

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Aina Prat Blasi
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Webp or "weppy", which is how it is pronounced, is a graphic format in the form of a container that emerged in 2010 from the hand of Google. Although computers, mobiles and tablets are becoming more and more powerful, the truth is that nowadays the websites we visit have more and more quality content.

This means that if we visit one of these websites loaded with multimedia content with a computer with slightly more limited hardware, we see how the loading time or speed is reduced compared to other websites of lower weight.

In this sense, the images contained in a web page are undoubtedly one of the main causes of slow loading. If we add to this that a single page can have many high-quality images, then things can get complicated. However, a few years ago, the WebP format began to be used, a more efficient way to use images on the Internet.

Perhaps on more than one occasion we have found that when we download an image from a website, when we access the path where we have saved it, we find a file in .Webp format.

An image that we later may not know with which tool we can open it or that is directly associated with our web browser and is opened directly with it. Next, we will show what exactly this image format is and what benefits it offers us.

What is WebP

Web or "weppy", Which is how to pronounce it, is a graphic format in the form of a container that emerged in 2010 from the hand of Google and which supports the compression is lossy che non lossy. A format derived from the VP8 video standard developed by On2 Technologies and acquired by Google in the same year.

From that point on, it was Google itself that developed this format further by adding new features and what made their Chrome browser engine start supporting this compression format.

In short, it is a file format created by Google for reduce the size of the images and then reduce image loading times. Something that, on the other hand, has become a necessity because nowadays, most of the time we surf the Internet, we do it from our cell phones.

This results in savings in bandwidth and thus faster loading of images from those websites that use this image format.

Roughly, images in this compression format are 30% smaller than the same image in other common formats such as JPG, JPEG or PNG with the same image quality and according to their own compression methods. While JPG files rely on a lossy compression method, PNG files do the same but lossless and it is the WebP that supports both possibilities.

Advantages and disadvantages of WebP over JPEG

The JPG or JPEG format has been the most widely used on the internet for decades, however, WebP has proven to be much more efficient thanks to one of the main advantages over JPG, as it offers a lossy and lossless compression method. However, this form offers other advantages such as:

  • Space saving: As we have already mentioned, WebP's compression format allows images to take up much less space on our disk or server with the same quality as an image in JPG or PNG format.
  • Reduction of compression times: it is not only important to take up little space, but it is also crucial that the loading in the browser is fast. In this sense, the format created by Google far exceeds the decoding and loading times of other image formats.
  • Transparency supportAlso, it is a format that supports image transparency.
  • Support for animation: and last but not least, it also supports animation, which also makes it a great rival of the GIF format.

But since everything may not be perfect, we also need to take into account some details of this format. One of them is its maximum pixel resolution, × 16.383 16.383. Although it is very large, the truth is that it is much lower than the maximum resolution offered by JPEG, as it reaches 65.535 × 65.535 pixels, although it is true that we will never use images of any of this size on a website.

The other big detail to take into consideration is the limitation offered by the WebP format than some browser, as this file format cannot be opened with most image viewing applications.

How to open and convert WebP files

If we are one of those who use the Google web browser, it is possible that when downloading an image in WebP format, if we have Chrome as the default browser on our computer, it is very likely that the browser itself is associated with us as an application default to open the image.

If not, we can open an image in this format by simply dragging it to a Chrome window. Other Chromium-based browsers also offer this support, although some older versions may not support it. Something that can also happen to us with other web browsers, therefore, we can use our browser to open an image in this format a depending on the browser and its version.

But if what we want is to open an image in this format with some image viewing or editing tools, we will need to find one that supports this format. If you are someone who uses Photoshop, surely you have already understood that if we try to open a WebP file, the Adobe tool will show us a message indicating that it is not possible because it is not the correct type of document.

How to open a WebP file in Photoshop

However, there is a way to open files of this format with the Adobe tool, by installing a plug-in that offers this support. These are the steps we need to follow:

  • We download the plug-in from the official website of the software. (We have to choose between the 32 and 64 bit version).
  • Decomprimiamo the file downloaded to our disk.
  • Let's open a file explorer and go to the path where we installed Photoshop.
  • Inside the folder of plug-in, let's copy the file WebP Format64.8bi that we find among those we have decompressed.
  • We let's reopen Photoshop and try to open a WebP file.
  • If everything went well, we will see that it is already possible to open this type of file with Photoshop.

Another free alternative to view photos in this format

We can also use a tool with IrFanView. A free software available for Windows with support for viewing images in this format and that we can download directly from this link on the official website of the tool.

As soon as it is downloaded, double-click on the .exe file that has been saved to disk and the installation wizard will automatically appear. In a couple of clicks, we will have the tool ready and available for use. Now, in order to open the WebP files from it, we will need to have the corresponding plugin.

So the next thing we need to do is:

  • Let's go to the official IrFanView site.
  • Let's download the installation program of plug-in for our version of Windows.
  • We run the downloaded .exe file.
  • We open IrFanView on our desktop.
  • We tried to open a WebP file.
  • If the installation of the tool and plugins was successful, we can already open any image in this format.

Although it is an image viewer that supports this type of format, it also has some very basic editing tools. Therefore, we can make some cuts on an image if necessary from the IrFanView image viewer itself.

You can also convert a file to other image formats

If we need to open a file in this format from a computer that does not have the Microsoft operating system or on which we cannot install third-party applications, what we can do is convertire WebP in JPG, PNG, GIF or other formats.

And that's it, we won't have to install anything on our computer. We will just have to open the web browser and visit any of the online sites where we can convert images from one format to another. One of the most popular and used is ezgif.com, a website where we can convert a WebP file to GIF, PNG, JPG or MP4 and vice versa in just a few clicks and completely free.

The only thing we need to do is visit the ezgif site, select the type of conversion we want to do, for example WebP in JPG and then, upload the file or indicate the URL where it is located and click the button Charge. In a few moments the image will be loaded, on which we can do some editing options such as cropping, resizing, rotating, optimizing, adding text or adding some effects, among others.

With everything ready, the only thing left is to click the button Converts to JPG or on the output format we have chosen and then we can proceed with the download of the result. Now, with the image in JPG format, we can open it in any other image viewer or photo editing tool that is not compatible with this format without any problem.

Further Reading:

  • What is the .AAE file extension? How to open .AAE file?
  • Best selfie apps for Android
  • Unable to open JPG files on Windows 10 and Windows 11, 6 solutions
  • How to know if my android phone is 64bit or 32bit
  • Recovery mode su Samsung Galaxy A52, come entrare

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