Re[2]: Graphics Format

Subject: Re[2]: Graphics Format
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 11:44:02 GMT

Tim Altom wrote:

Bitmaps are simple and robust and print nicely no matter what, but they
can't be enlarged without distortion. Bitmaps import into most apps, but
they're rather large and, ... BMPs are straightforward, with a single
definition, but TIFFs aren't like that. ...

Vector formats (or descriptor formats) like WMF and EPS refresh slower on
most systems, but they resize easily and crisply. Further, they print
wonderfully. However, they require more sophisticated filters.

Sadly, it isn't quite that simple:

There are two common forms of BMP - the vanilla BMP, and the RLE encoded
(compressed) version, which usually has a manageable file size.

There are several forms of TIF, but with a few notable exceptions, the
programs that handle the later versions can also cope with earlier ones.
I've not found many current programs that can't manage a LZW compressed TIF
file in the Windows environment.

WMF and EPS files can (and often do) have a bitmap header in the file to
enable placement on-screen. Sadly, quite a few programs that can't use the
vector information simply rescale the header bitmap and print that instead.
Some even ditch the vector information if they resave the file!

Generally, the WMF format is a good bet on Windows, and EPS on Macs, but
that's not always the case on either platform. WMF can have a problem with
curves, for example.

Of course, for help files or web pages, neither is any good at all!


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