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A screenshot of the xfig vector graphics editor
A screenshot of the modern vector graphics editor Inkscape

A vector graphics editor is a computer program that allows users to compose and edit vector graphics images interactively on a computer. (compare with MetaPost) and save them in one of many popular vector graphics formats, such as EPS, PDF, WMF, SVG, or VML.

Contents

Vector editors versus bitmap editors

Vector editors are often contrasted with bitmap editors and their capabilities complement each other. Vector editors are better for graphic design, page layout, typography, logos, sharp-edged artistic illustrations (e.g. cartoons, clip art, complex geometric patterns), technical illustrations, diagramming and flowcharting. Bitmap editors are more suitable for retouching, photo processing, photorealistic illustrations, collage, and hand drawn illustrations using a pen tablet. Many contemporary illustrators use Corel Photo-Paint and Photoshop to make all kind of illustrations. Recent versions of bitmap editors, such as GIMP and Photoshop support vector-like tools (e.g. editable paths), and the vector editors such as CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, Xara Xtreme, Adobe Fireworks, Inkscape or SK1 are gradually adopting tools and approaches that were once limited to bitmap editors (e.g. blurring).

Specialized features

Some vector editors support animation, while others (e.g. Adobe Flash) are specifically geared towards producing animated graphics. Generally, vector graphics are more suitable for animation, though there are raster-based animation tools as well.

Vector editors are closely related to desktop publishing software such as Adobe InDesign or Scribus, which also usually include some vector drawing tools (usually less powerful than those in standalone vector editors). Modern vector editors are capable of, and often preferable for, designing unique documents (like flyers or brochures) of up to a few pages; it's only for longer or more standardized documents that the page layout programs are more suitable.

Special vector editors are used for Computer Assisted Drafting. They are not suitable for artistic or decorative graphics, but are rich in tools and object libraries used to ensure precision and standards compliance of drawings and blueprints.

Finally, 3D computer graphics software such as Maya, Blender or 3D Studio Max can also be thought of as an extension of the traditional 2D vector editors, and they share some common concepts and tools.

See also

External links


Simple English

File:Xfig
A screenshot of the xfig vector graphics editor
File:Inkscape0.
A screenshot of the modern vector graphics editor Inkscape

A vector graphics editor is a computer program that lets users make and change vector graphics images and save them in one of many popular vector graphics formats such as EPS, PDF, WMF, SVG or VML.

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