The files can store bitmaps at a variety of color depths: monochrome, 8 bit gray scale, 256 color with a palette, 24 bit True Color, or 32 bit True Color.
Additionally the data in the file can be stored in either of two bytes orders, and the bitmap may either by not compressed or compressed using a Run-length Compression scheme.
Please Note: As there is a wide variety of possible options in this format, some applications may not support (or read) all possible variations of this format.
A technical discussion of this format can be found in Chapter 13 of Graphics File Formats† by David C. Kay and John R. Levine.
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