I want to create a file with 1 bit color-depth, i.e. one bit per pixel. Which file formats are suitable for that, and how do I do this in GIMP?

This is for self-created checkerboard for subsequent experiments with image analysis and modification.

Thank you.

PS: I know about How to convert color images to black & white in GIMP? but if I store this as JPG or PNG, there are still gray pixels included.

  • BMP is most likely the format you need.
    – Scott
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:42
  • Most formats except for JPEG should do, actually. The important part is that the image has to have only two colors when the export happens. Jan 8, 2018 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


In GIMP click Image > Mode > Indexed

Select the option which says "Use Black and White (1 bit) palette"

Click File > Export As

Give your file a new new name, and end with the file extension .BMP and hit Export - if a warning comes up about transparency not being supported in bitmap, ignore it, and hit OK.


I have the same need and acheved it by exporting as PNG. This generates a true 1 bit depth image.

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