A file with the .webp extension is a file format developed by Google to reduce image size without compromising quality for storage space. WebP images are designed to make the web faster, with smaller, quality photos for developers to use.
What is a webP file?
The WebP format pronounced Weppy is the sister project of the WebM video container format, based on the VP8 video codec developed by On2 Technologies, launched by Google. Google acquired On2 Technologies on February 19, 2010, then launched WebP in September of the same year.
As 60% of bytes in most web pages are images, Google set out to create a free and open-source file format that stores the compression formats with and without loss in high quality. By maintaining quality but reducing the image size, pages load faster, use less bandwidth and save battery power, especially on mobile devices, when pages use WebP images.
webp file format
WebP uses predictive compression to encode an image that verifies values in neighboring blocks of pixels to predict values in a block, and then only encodes the difference between them.
It will allow pixels to be copied multiple times into a single file, and redundant data will be removed from each block. Saving only the data that changes between each block reduce storage space compared to PNG and JPEG formats. More information can be found on WebP’s compression techniques reference page.
WebP images without loss of quality are 26% smaller than PNG files and up to 34% smaller than JPEG files.
How do I open an image in this format?
Because Google develops webp and it is royalty free, it is already integrated into many applications and software that you may already have on your computer. Most web browsers already have the necessary plug-in to handle the format.
WebP images designed for web and are almost indistinguishable from JPEG and PNG, so you may not even have noticed that’s what you were looking at. You can save a WebP image on your computer in the same way you would any other image on the Internet; right click on the image and then click “Save Image As”.
Choose a destination on your computer where you want to save the image, then click “Save”.
If you have Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Opera, all you have to do is double-click the image, it will open in your default browser for you to see.
You can edit WebP files using graphics software, such as GIMP, ImageMagick or Microsoft Paint, which natively open WebP files by default. In Windows, right-click on the image, point to “Open with” and then choose the program you want to edit.
Windows Photo Viewer and Photoshop require add-ons to open WebP images.
You can always change the default application for a file type if you want to open the file with a completely different program on Mac and Windows. Or you can use Google Chrome to download WebP images as JPEG or PNG.