What is JPEG XL?

Welcome to our blog! Today, we will be exploring the world of JPEG XL and diving into its key features and advantages. If you are unfamiliar with JPEG XL, this article will serve as your comprehensive guide to understanding this next-generation image compression format. So, let’s get started!

What is JPEG XL?

JPEG XL, or Joint Photographic Experts Group Extra-Large, is an image coding system that offers significant improvements over its predecessor, the legacy JPEG format. It is designed to optimize image delivery on the web and professional photography, providing better image quality, higher compression ratios, and a wide range of advanced features.

Key Takeaways

  • JPEG XL is an image coding system that outperforms the legacy JPEG format in terms of image quality and compression ratios.
  • It offers features like wide color gamut, high dynamic range, animation, alpha channels, layers, thumbnails, lossless and progressive coding.
  • JPEG XL supports novel applications like 360-degree images, image bursts, large panoramas/mosaics, and printing.
  • The format is royalty-free and designed for computationally efficient encoding and decoding.

Benefits of Using JPEG XL

Improved Image Quality and Compression Ratios

One of the main advantages of JPEG XL over the legacy JPEG format is its ability to provide significantly better image quality while maintaining high compression ratios. This means that images encoded in JPEG XL will look sharper, have more vibrant colors, and contain finer details compared to JPEG-encoded images. Moreover, JPEG XL achieves better compression efficiency, resulting in smaller file sizes without compromising image quality.

Wide Color Gamut and High Dynamic Range Support

JPEG XL supports a wide color gamut, allowing for the accurate representation of colors beyond what traditional image formats can handle. This makes it an ideal choice for displaying images with vibrant and rich color palettes, such as in professional photography or graphic design. Additionally, the format also supports high dynamic range (HDR) images, which capture a broader range of tonal values, resulting in more realistic and immersive visuals.

Advanced Features for Diverse Use Cases

JPEG XL offers a range of advanced features that cater to various use cases. Its support for animation enables the creation of visually stunning and interactive content, making it suitable for multimedia applications and websites. Alpha channels and layers allow for greater control over transparency and image compositing, which can be beneficial for graphic design and image editing. Moreover, JPEG XL’s lossless and progressive coding capabilities provide flexibility in delivering images without sacrificing quality or loading times.

Compatibility and Transition from Legacy JPEG

JPEG XL is designed to be backward-compatible with the legacy JPEG format. This means that existing JPEG files can be losslessly transcoded to JPEG XL, resulting in smaller file sizes while still maintaining compatibility with applications that primarily support JPEG. The transcoding process is computationally efficient and can be easily incorporated into existing workflows, making the transition to JPEG XL seamless and cost-effective. Furthermore, servers can serve both JPEG and JPEG XL clients by storing a single JPEG XL file, reducing storage costs and simplifying content management.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Using JPEG XL

Now that we have discussed the benefits of using JPEG XL, let’s explore how you can incorporate this image format into your workflow. Follow these steps to leverage the power of JPEG XL:

  1. Choose Your Implementation: JPEG XL has a reference software, libjxl, that provides a free and open-source implementation of the codec. You can find the libjxl library on GitHub and integrate it into your software or application.
  2. Prepare Your Images: Before encoding your images, ensure they are in a suitable format, such as PNG or JPEG. If your images are already in the legacy JPEG format, they can be losslessly transcoded to JPEG XL, reducing their file size while preserving their original quality.
  3. Encode Your Images: Use the libjxl library or any other JPEG XL encoder to convert your images into the JPEG XL format. Adjust the encoding settings based on your requirements, such as the desired compression ratio, image quality, and advanced features.
  4. Delivery and Display: Once your images are encoded in JPEG XL, you can deliver them over the web or use them in your applications. Ensure that your target platforms, such as web browsers or image editing software, support JPEG XL for seamless display and manipulation.

Who is JPEG XL For?

JPEG XL is suitable for a wide range of users and applications. Here are some key user groups who can benefit from implementing JPEG XL:

  1. Web Developers: If you are a web developer, JPEG XL can significantly enhance the visual experience of users by delivering high-quality, compressed images with faster loading times. It provides better image quality compared to legacy formats and supports advanced features like animation and transparency, enabling you to create interactive and visually appealing websites.
  2. Professional Photographers: If you work in professional photography, JPEG XL’s support for wide color gamut, high dynamic range, and lossless encoding can help you showcase your images in their full glory. The format’s superior image quality and compression efficiency make it an excellent choice for presenting your portfolio or selling prints online.
  3. Graphic Designers: Graphic designers can leverage the advanced features of JPEG XL, such as alpha channels and layers, to create visually stunning and intricate designs. Its support for wide color gamut and high dynamic range ensures accurate color representation and realistic visuals, enhancing the overall design quality.
  4. E-commerce Platforms: JPEG XL’s ability to deliver high-quality images with smaller file sizes makes it an ideal choice for e-commerce platforms. By using JPEG XL, you can improve your website’s loading speed, reduce bandwidth usage, and enhance the visual appeal of your product images, thereby attracting more customers.


JPEG XL is a next-generation image compression format that offers significant advancements over legacy formats like JPEG. With its superior image quality, higher compression ratios, and a rich set of features, JPEG XL is poised to become the go-to standard for image compression on the web and in professional photography. By adopting JPEG XL, users can deliver visually stunning images with smaller file sizes, enhancing the user experience and improving loading times. As more platforms and applications integrate JPEG XL support, its widespread adoption will accelerate, making it a promising format for the future of digital imaging.