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object-oriented graphics
Last modified: Tuesday, November 25, 1997 

The representation of graphical objects, such as lines, arcs, circles, and rectangles, with mathematical formulas. This method of describing objects enables the system to manipulate the objects more freely. In an object-oriented system, for example, you can overlap objects but still access them individually, which is difficult in a bit-mapped system. Also, object-oriented images profit from high-quality output devices. The higher the resolution of a monitor or printer, the sharper an object-oriented image will look. In contrast, bit-mapped images always appear the same regardless of a device's resolution.

One of the most widely used formats for object-oriented graphics is PostScript. PostScript is a page description language (PDL) that makes it possible to describe objects and manipulate them in various ways. For example, you can make objects smaller or larger, turn them at various angles, and change their shading and color. A font described in PostScript, therefore, can easily be transformed into another font by changing its size or weight. Object-oriented fonts are called outline fonts, scalable fonts, or vector fonts.

Object-oriented graphics is also called vector graphics, whereas bit-mapped graphics is sometimes called raster graphics.

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Graphics

related terms

bit-mapped graphics

graphics

PostScript

scalable font

vector graphics


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