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Vector Formats

Alan Francis

In the ideal world there would be only one file format for each type of application and it would satisfy the following criteria: and However, the real world is not the ideal world so some compromises have to be made.

The Computer Graphics Metafile, CGM:1992 has good capabilities for image and vector graphics. It is an ISO standard and its use should be encouraged. There is a lot of software available on a variety of platforms which can generate/interpret CGM:1987 metafiles but some of it is of dubious quality. Software authors/vendors need to be encouraged to update their software to CGM:1992 and to submit it for conformance testing in order to improve the quality. TIFF is not one file format but a multiplicity of file formats. Although it is widely used the different flavours create problems for exchange.


Henderson, L.R., Mumford, A.M.,The CGM Handbook, Academic Press, 1993.

Information Processing Systems Computer Graphics Metafile for the storage and transfer of picture descriptive information', ISO/IEC 8632, Parts 1-4, 1992.

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