Graphics are pictures such as drawings, paintings or photographs.Graphics are used to create interest and provide information. They can be stored, edited and transferred in similar ways to text. Graphics are created using graphics programs or captured using a scanner,digital camera or video camera. All graphics are displayed using tiny dots called pixels. A pixel (picture element) is the smallest part of the screen that can be controlled by the computer. The total number of pixels on the screen is called its resolution. There are two types of graphics: bit-mapped graphics and vector graphics.
Bit-mapped graphics (raster graphics) store and manipulate each pixel. They produce good quality images where shading and fine detail are needed. However, when resized bit-mapped graphics become ragged and suffer loss of resolution. Enlarging the graphic enlarges each pixel and creates a staircase pattern along a diagonal or curved line called jaggies. Bit-mapped graphics are created and edited using a painting program.
Vector graphics (object-oriented graphics) store pictures as a collection of objects such as shapes and lines. Each object is defined by its characteristics such as position, line width and pattern. These characteristics are stored as mathematical expressions and displayed on the screen as pixels. Vector graphics are created and edited using a drawing program. A hard copy of a vector graphic appears smoother than a bit-mapped graphic when enlarged.