The ANI file format is a graphics file format used for animated mouse cursors on the Microsoft Windows operating system.
The format is based on the Microsoft RIFF file format, which is used as a container for storing the individual frames (which are standard Windows icons) of the animation.
Animated cursors contain the following information: (in order of position in the file)
- Name (optional)
- Artist information (optional)
- Default frame rate
- Sequence information
- Cursor hotspot
- Individual frame(s)., in ICO format
- Individual frame rates (optional)
Frame rates are measured in jiffies, with one jiffy equal to 1/60 of a second, or 16.666 ms.
Sequence information present in the file determines the sequence of frames, and allows frames to be played more than once, or in a different order than in which they appear in the file. For example, if the animation contains three different images numbered 1, 2 and 3, and the sequence is 1-2-3-2-1, (five frames) then only three icons need to be stored in the file, thereby saving storage space.