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A .pbm file is a Portable Bitmap format image, which stores a black-and-white raster image. Each PBM file stores its image data as a plain text file containing a grid of 1s and 0s — a 1 represents a black pixel, and a 0 represents a white pixel.

PBM files are not compressed, so converting one to another format that uses lossless compression will usually reduce file size. Since PBM files are limited to two colors, converting to an indexed color format like GIF (.gif) or PNG (.png) will most efficiently minimize file size while preserving the original image exactly as it appeared. Other lossless image formats like bitmap (.bmp) and TIFF (.tif) also maintain the exact image with a smaller file size. Avoid converting PBM files to JPEG (.jpg), since the lossy compression may introduce artifacts and change the original image.

About File Helper

File Helper is a free web-based file utility that can open Portable Bitmap Image files and over 150 other file formats directly in your web browser. It displays file properties, including metadata, and image EXIF data, along with information about the corresponding file type. File Helper can also view and convert images to several common formats. Have an unknown file or a file without an extension? No problem — File Helper can identify over 15,000 file types.

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