A vector file is a type of graphic file that contains mathematical representations of lines, points, and curves in two or three dimensions. Vector files are often used in computer-aided design (CAD) and geographic information system (GIS) applications.
Vector files are usually generated by CAD or GIS software programs. They can also be created by hand using a vector graphics editor. Vector files are typically saved in either Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) or Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format.
Common uses for vector files include logos, illustrations, and maps. Vector files can be scaled to any size without losing quality, making them ideal for use in print and digital media.
What is a Raster File?
A raster file, also called a bitmap image, is made up of pixels arranged in a grid. Each pixel is assigned a color or gray scale value, which together form an image. Raster files are typically saved in Portable Network Graphics (PNG) or Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
Raster files are ideal for photographs and other images that contain lots of detail. They are not as well-suited for line drawings, logos, or other graphics with fewer colors and sharp edges.
There are several advantages to using vector files over raster files:
- Vector files can be scaled to any size without losing quality, making them ideal for use in print and digital media.
- Vector files are usually smaller than raster files, so they take up less storage space.
- Vector files can be edited more easily than raster files, so they are often used in software applications like Adobe Illustrator.
- Vector files can be converted to raster files if necessary.
There are also some disadvantages to using vector files:
- Vector files can be more difficult to create than raster files.
- Vector files often require specialized software to open and edit them.
- Not all printers and plotters can print vector files.