JPEG XL is a next-generation image format. It has the file extension .jxl and "offers significantly better image quality and compression ratios than legacy JPEG" according to the JPEG Committee.
It is a royalty free format that offers high fidelity to the source image, good encoding and decoding speeds, and lossless transcoding of JPEG images.
Browser makers such as Mozilla or Google have started to implement support for the new JPEG XL format in their browsers.
Find out if your browser supports JPEG XL
A quick way of finding out if your browser supports the new image format JPEG XL is to try and open a .jxl image in the browser.
I have uploaded a sample image which you can access here (bonus points for identifying the city in the photo).
If the image is displayed, JPEG XL is supported in the browser. If you get a download dialog instead, the new file format is not supported. The latter does not necessarily mean that support has not been implemented yet, only that it may not be enabled by default.
Enable JPEG XL support in Google Chrome
Google added experimental support for the JPEG XL format to Google Chrome Canary (92.0.4503.0). It is not enabled by default and needs to be enabled by users before JXL images are displayed in the browser.
- Load chrome://flags/#enable-jxl in the browser's address bar.
- Switch the status of the experiment to Enabled.
- Restart Google Chrome.
Support will be added for other Chrome versions, Dev, Beta and Stable, eventually.
Enable JPEG XL in Mozilla Firefox
Mozilla has implemented JPEG XL support in Firefox, but it is only available in Firefox Nightly (90.0a1 (2021-05-09) at the time of writing. Users of Firefox Nightly need to enable support though as it is not on by default:
- Load about:preferences#experimental in the web browser's address bar.
- Scroll down to Media: JPEG XL and check the box next to it to enable support for the new format in Firefox.
- A restart is not necessary.
Support will reach Beta, Developer and Stable versions of the Firefox web browser eventually.
Enable JPEG XL support in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge Canary supports the new format just like Google Chrome Canary. The feature cannot be enabled on edge://flags though at the time of writing. Edge needs to be started with the parameter --enable-features=JXL to add support. This is likely going to change in the future, but for now, this is how it is done.
Other Chromium-based browsers will support the new image format as well in the future. JPEG XL is but one image format that is competing to become the next standard image format on the web. Only a small number of tools and viewers support the new image format right now, and fewer websites use it. There is no rush to support the format on the user side because of that.