All About Graphics

Graphic File Formats

There are two basic kinds of graphics. Graphics based on pixels; the dots on the screen and those based on mathematical formulas.

These are always bitmapped or rasterised.  Many designers create their original artwork in a vector program such as FreeHand or Illustrator and then open it in PhotoShop or a similar program to rastersie it or turn it into a bitmap.

Bitmapped graphics are created by changing the colour of individual pixels on the screen - the bits of information are mapped to the pixels on the screen.
The image of the puzzled screen bean from Word Clipart is a bitmapped image.  When the image is viewed closely using a zoom in feature the pixels can be clearly seen.  The ragged edge of the image identifies it as a bitmapped graphic.

Vector graphics are generally smooth edged because the shapes are mathematically defined instead of being mapped to individual pixels.