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Vector graphics editor

From Academic Kids

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

Introduction

Vector editors are often contrasted with bitmap graphics editors, and their capabilities complement each other. Vector editors are better for design and layout, typography, logos, and technical illustrations, while bitmap editors are more suitable for retouching, photo processing, and artistic illustrations. The recent versions of bitmap editors, such as GIMP and Photoshop, support vector-like tools (e.g. editable paths), and the vector editors gradually adapt tools and approaches that were once limited to bitmap editors (e.g. blurring).

Some vector editors support animation, while others (e.g. Macromedia 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 or Blender can also be thought of as an extension of the traditional 2D vector editors, and they share some common concepts and tools.

See also

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