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Base64 Encoding Assets

A person can convert an image to various formats like PNG, SVG, JPEG, Webp, and even the Base 64 strings. If you are reading this article, we are sure you might be thorough with all the image formats but the Base 64 string. Thus, we will walk you through the what, when, where and even the whys of Base 64 through this blog to ensure you can use it more comfortably the next time.

Base64 Encoding

What is Base 64?

Base 64 is a general term for different encoding schemes that are similar to each other. Primarily, one can encode binary-to-text where the binary is represented by a printable ASCII format. Each of the digits of Base 64 represents 6 different bits of binary data collectively. Basically, by using Base 64 one can turn binary data into their text format to enable easy transmission of data through emails and HTML formats.

Base 64 is a simple coding algorithm whether used while encoding or decoding details and has a 65 character subset. A 6-bit binary string is what comes up from the Base 64 data wherein the 65th character serves as the pad that can be called the end. It is used for achieving a proper size with all the 64 data.

Usually, standard alphabets and numbers come together- A to Z, 0-9, a to z alongside +, / and also the = signs and symbols in Base 64.

Does it look complicated at this stage? Are you worried if there is an easy way to convert your files? This article is all about simplifying Base 64; and thus to begin with, there is a simple converter with Iamvector.com that you can use to convert all your free SVG icons and image files into their Base 64 string.

You must have known by now what a Base 64 is all about, next we will head to the next big question and that is, when & how can one use the Base 64 image strings?

When to use Base 64 image strings and how

The inception of Base 64 stringed data took over after emails became a necessity. Initially, emails were just mere texts but then came the scope of attaching images and media files to it. In the first few years, when image files were sent over the internet, they used binary data but then it was noticed that the chances of the raw binary data becoming corrupt ran high. To handle this problem, Base 64 came into existence.

It was noticed that binary data consisted of several null characters which in some of the other computer languages represent the end limit of character strings. Ideally, if the original information can be transmitted to multiples of three, all works well but if they are not multiples of three, you will end up having empty bytes. The raw form of binary data containing null characters can stop a file from being intercepted completely when send and that is why it was primarily introduced. 

In Base 64, these empty bytes are tagged with 0 to form a 3-byte group thereby solving the problem.

Generally, for C and C++, 00 at the end of a raw binary data string will be read as a stop here sign.

But if you use the Base 64 model, this is how it will work.

  1. To start with, each of the characters in the word will be changed to their decimal form.
  2. Next, convert each decimal into an 8-bit binary structure.
  3. Each of the 8-bit binary structures can be rearranged into a 6-bit group.
  4. Convert these 6-bits back to decimal figures
  5. Turn decimal characters to the Base 64 strings using the Base 64 chart.
  6. There will be a different word for the one you want to send out.
  7. After the encoding is complete, the Base 64 padding character that is equal to the (=) sign is introduced at the end of the data that is encoded.

This string will get transmitted thus stop codes will no longer be an issue as they were for raw binary data.

In this way, all free SVG icons , and images in different formats can be easily transmitted and converted using free SVG image converters like the one available with iamvector.

Each of the 64 characters encodes to a 6-bit binary sequence equivalent and the 65th character is the stop pad. Here are the characters and their derivatives.

0A17                       R34i51z
1             B18          S35          j520
2          C19          T36            k531
3           D20          U37          l542
4          E21          V38          m553
5           F22           W39         n564
6            G23         X40          o575
7          H24         Y41          p586
9         J26           a43          r597
10         K27         b44           s608
11          L28          c45           t619
12         M29           d46           u62+
13          N30          e47   
 14           O31           f48        w63/
 15           P32           g49x  
 16          Q33           h50yPad=

If you are with us till here, you know the ‘what and when’ of Base 64 icons. The next question that must be cropping up is the part where you need to understand where and why you must use them.

Where and why to use Base 64

The same set of 64 characters will be present in many of the different characters and thus one can conclude uncorrupted data transmission.

An essential way of encoding binary data into ASCII text that takes 4 characters per 3 data bytes and a little bit of padding to end.

By turning your binary data into text, you are making them more easily transmissible through e-mails and other HTML formats.

If you are still not convinced as to why you may use Base 64 when you already have decimal and hexadecimal format? Here’s a bit of more information for you that might help you understand better.

  • Usually, the first things that come to mind are decimal and hexadecimal formats of data storage.
  1. For storing data in decimal format, you must store the decimal value in each byte as three number sets. In this way each byte is made of 3 bytes.

Here, if you notice the data has expanded threefold due to this arrangement.

  • The hexadecimal arrangement where bytes are stored in six-pair formats. Here each of the six pair formats is represented by two bytes. This way also you can notice that the data is bloating two-fold.
  • But when you compare the above two formats with Base 64 , the data bloating percentage comes down to a minuscule 4/3 which is roughly 1.3333333 of the original information.

Massive reduction of data bloating is achieved using this Base 64 method.

  • Next will be the conversion of hashes. Hash is transferred through its transformation from one block of bytes to another. Mostly these block bytes are fixed in size- 125 bits or 256 bits. With Base64 the conversion becomes easier and mostly hashes can be seen so often that many times people mistake it as a hash.
  • Base 64 can also be used for encryption and decryption of files. It is not to be used as a data protecting function but mostly as a storage or display format.

Raw bytes are what an encrypted file needs to be, hence, storing them in a database or as a file is crucial.  This is where Base 64 can become useful.

  • Another common use is in the PEM format of the x509 certificates that can also be Base 64 encoded.

Ending Lines

As you know the how, where, when, why, and what a Base 64 file is all about, you must be enticed by now. Therefore, we suggest you turn on to the image converter quickly to transmit your paid or free SVG icon & image files into their Base 64 strings.

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