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Vector Formats

In addition to the standard bitmap formats, new vector formats are becoming available. These formats, such as Macromedia Flash, require plug-ins to work. Why would anyone want to use a graphics format that requires a plug-in? The biggest advantage on the Web is that vector graphics are represented by mathematical formulas and numbers. This makes their file size much smaller when compared to bitmap images.

Animations are another area in which vector formats are a huge advantage. GIF animations require the space of several images shown one after another, but vector animations only need to know how the mathematically defined lines, curves, and colors change over time. This yields a dramatic size savings and can really open your Web presentations to some elaborate full-screen effects. The cost to users is a plug-in.


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