Explanation of file formats (Vector + Raster + CAD)

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graphic file formats

Vector file formats

Vector file formats define an image’s information by using basic geometric primitives that can be expressed by mathematical equations, such as points, line, segment, curve, text, and polygons. Vector images are made up of a number of lines, arcs, and curves of various geometric shapes that have the same quality and sharpness when zooming or resizing, no matter the scale.

  • eps file format

    EPS

    EPS stands for Encapsulated Poscript and is a graphics file for things like pictures, logos, or photographs. It’s also for layouts of pages, maps, or other types of images. The EPS file contains both bitmap and vector data for each file and uses the Postscript page description language in its internal code. Every drawing or graphic design software can generate EPS files. Layout or graphics applications, like Photoshop or Illustrator, and some applications can save bitmap images as EPS files, as well. Unlike JPGs and PNGs, an EPS file does not have thumbnail view, so it can be hard to view it without opening.

  • Vector software Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, Affinity Designer, and Sketch 
    Type of graphics Vector
    File name extension .eps, .epsi, .epsf
    Color modes CMYK and RGB
    Type of format 100% scalable without loss of quality
    Main usage Print, cutting software, and games
    File size Large file size
    Speciality Includes a low-resolution preview encapsulated inside




  • ai file format

    AI

    AI is the file format of Adobe Illustrator, a program that uses powerful vector graphics for logo creation, outlining, and other types of design work. AI files are saved in vector format, so they can be resized to any definition without losing quality. Some programs accept AI files but may rasterize the image, and you will lose quality. Vector files are composed of paths connected by points, rather than the usual bitmap image data, and this high-quality attribute helps to make logos of any size with perfect edge quality for print or advertising media.

  • Vector software Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, Affinity Designer, and Sketch 
    Type of graphics Vector
    File name extension .ai
    Color modes CMYK and RGB
    Type of format 100% scalable without loss of quality
    Main usage Print, cutting software, and games
    File size Small file size 
    Speciality Adobe Illustrator native file format

  • pdf file format

    PDF

    A PDF document is used to present documents without a particular application to open them. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Created by Adobe, a PDF file is designed to encapsulate a complete documentation of all the text, fonts, graphics, and anything else that is needed to display it. For this reason, these files can be larger than their program-specific counterparts. PDFs are commonly used to display digital magazines, books, and newsletters, as all the information inside a PDF can be managed. PDFs can be secured through password protection or can require a signature to open. This allows them to be used for important documents, invoices, and legal documents.

  • Vector software Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, Affinity Designer, and Sketch
    Type of graphics Vector
    File name extension .pdf
    Color modes CMYK and RGB
    Type of format 100% scalable without loss of quality
    Main usage Print, cutting software, and games
    File size Small file size
    Speciality Open type file format

  • cdr file format

    CDR

    CDR stands for Corel Draw Vector and is a file that is associated with the program Corel Draw, a popular design program for graphic designers. The file is vector based and can be resized indefinitely without losing quality. Other programs can also open this vector graphics file, including Corel Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Illustrator. The file type is not recognized by most other image editing software, but, when opened with Corel Draw, it can be exported into other file types.

  • Vector software Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, Affinity Designer, and Sketch
    Type of graphics Vector
    File name extension .cdr
    Color modes CMYK and RGB
    Type of format 100% scalable without loss of quality
    Main usage Print, cutting software, and games
    File size Small file size
    Speciality Corel Draw native file format




  • svg file format

    SVG

    SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. Similar to AI files, these files are vector based, so they can be resized without losing quality. SVGs are XML based, so they can be searched, tagged with metadata, scripted, and compressed. SVG images can be created and edited with a text editor, and the files are small and compact for easy moving or downloading. Usually, they are opened in drawing software of some kind. All modern web browsers support SVG to some degree, and SVG files commonly allow three types of graphic objects, which are VG, RG, and text.

  • Vector software Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, Affinity Designer, and Sketch
    Type of graphics Vector
    File name extension .svg, .svgz
    Color modes CMYK and RGB
    Type of format 100% scalable without loss of quality
    Main usage Print, cutting software, and games
    File size Small file size (lowest of all vector formats)
    Speciality Web-supported vector format

Bitmap file formats

Bitmap images are composed of pixels. These are tiny little dots, which you can see if you take a closer look at your TV screen. Every small pixel or bit is carrying infomration about color for a computer or other device. The most common example of bitmap images are photographs. Bitmap files commonly can be recognized by file extension, in which the graphics are saved. The most commonly-used bitmap formats are JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and TIF.

  • jpg file format

    JPG

    JPG or JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. These files are most commonly used for photographs, specifically digital photographs created by digital cameras. They are commonly used for maximum image quality with a high compression rate for creation of smaller files. The degree of compression can be adjusted in most graphic design software, allowing for a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality.

    JPG and JPEG are the most common image formats used by digital cameras, as these are the most well-known format for storing and sharing images on the Internet. At its best, the compression algorithm displays paintings and realistic scenes with high-color quality and striking tone. Online, where web masters track the amount of data used meticulously, JPGs are very popular. JPGs may not be great for line drawings, like logos or textual graphics, where sharp contrasts will start to blur, and the quality compromise is not worth it for displaying a high-quality image.

  • Bitmap software Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Gimp, Pixlr, and Paintshop Pro
    Type of graphics Bitmap (Pixel-based graphics)
    File name extension .jpg, .jpe, .jif, .jpeg, .jfif, and .jfi
    Color modes CMYK and RGB
    Type of format Lossy image format (pixelation, artifacts)
    Colors 16 mil colors, 24 bit per pixel
    Main usage Digital devices, web, and camera
    File size Small file size (JPGs can be compressed )
    Compression Huffman encoding

  • png file format

    PNG

    PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and is pronounced ‘ping.’ This is a raster graphics file format that supports compression without a loss of data. PNGs were created as an improved replacement for GIFs and are the most commonly used lossless image compression on the Internet. PNGs allow transparency in their images, so backgrounds of webpages will be seen behind the image, instead of a square white box, as is usually seen with typical JPEG images on the web. PNGs are single image formats and cannot display animation like GIFs can.

  • Bitmap software Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Gimp, Pixlr, and Paintshop Pro
    Type of graphics Bitmap (Pixel-based graphics)
    File name extension .png
    Color modes CMYK and RGB
    Type of format Lossless file format
    Colors 256, 8-bit, 24-bit colors
    Main usage Digital devices, web, and camera
    File size Large file size for complex images
    Compression LZW Lempel-Ziv-Welch encoding
    Advantage Transparent background



CAD file formats

CAD file formats are primarily intended for containing 2D or 3D designs. CAD software uses vector-based graphics. The most famouse CAD programs are AutoCad, SolidEdge, DraftSight, DoubleCAD XT, DraftIT, LibreCAD, or Free CAD. Computer Aided Design (CAD) file formats can work with geometric models, technical drawings, architectural plans, blueprints, etc. The most common CAD file extentions are .dwg, .dgn, .dxf, or .stl.

  • dwg file format

    DWG

    DWG is a proprietary AutoCAD file format used to store two- and three-dimensional design data and metadata. IntelliCAD, PowerCAD, and other software support it. It has now become the base format for all CAD applications and can be viewed with the free DWG TrueView program on Windows. Other software that can open this file include Autodesk, AutoCAD, and SolidWorks eDrawing Viewer. This file type can also be converted with AutoDWG or Solid Converter DWG. On a Mac, DWG files can be opened with Microspot DWG viewer, IMSI TurboCAD, and SolidWorks eDrawings Viewer. CAD programs can be expensive, so, if you don’t have one of those, then you can still view DWG files after converting them to PDF, TIFF, or JPG with Total Cad Converter.

  • CAD software SolidEdge, DraftSight, and FreeCAD
    Supported graphics 2D and 3D
    File name extension .dwg, .dws, and .dwt
    Usage Geometric data, maps, blueprints, and designs
    Coding ASCII and Binary

  • dxf file format

    DXF

    DXF stands for Drawing eXchange Format and is an AutoCAD file type. This file type is for a graphic image typically created by AutoCAD. Depending on the software used, this file type can be saved in ASCII or binary format. There have been many changes to this file type over the years, and it enables high-quality data transfer between AutoCAD and other programs.

  • CAD software SolidEdge, DraftSight, and FreeCAD
    Supported graphics 2D and 3D
    File name extension .dxf
    Usage Geometric data, maps, blueprints, and designs
    Coding ASCII and Binary

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