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How to Use the Book

This book is divided into three parts.

Part One, Overview, is an introduction to those computer graphics concepts that are especially helpful when you need to work with graphics file formats.

  • Chapter 1, Introduction, introduces some basic terminology, and gives an overview of computer graphics data and the different types of graphics file formats used in computer graphics. This chapter also lists all of the formats described in this book.

  • Chapter 2, Computer Graphics Basics, discusses some concepts from the broader field of computer graphics that are necessary for an understanding of the rest of the book.

  • Chapter 3, Bitmap Files, describes the structure and characteristics of bitmap files.

  • Chapter 4, Vector Files, describes the structure and characteristics of vector files.

  • Chapter 5, Metafiles, describes the structure and characteristics of metafiles.

  • Chapter 6, Platform Dependencies, describes the few machine and operating system dependencies you will need to understand.

  • Chapter 7, Format Conversion, discusses issues to consider when you are converting between the different format types (e.g., bitmap to vector), as well as between formats within a type (e.g., vector to vector).

  • Chapter 8, Working With Graphics Files, describes the issues that come up when you read, write, and test graphics files. It also covers the corruption and encryption of graphics files, the potential for virus infection in those files, and the issues involved in writing your own file formats and file format specifications, including copyright issues.

  • Chapter 9, Data Compression, describes data compression, particularly as compression techniques apply to graphics data and the graphics files described in this book.

  • Chapter 10, Multimedia, surveys multimedia formats and issues.

Part Two, Graphics File Formats, describes the graphics file formats themselves. There is one article per format or format set, and articles are arranged alphabetically. Each article provides basic classification information, an overview, and details of the format. In many cases we've included short code examples. We've also indicated whether the specification itself (or an article that describes the details of the format) is included on the CD-ROM, as well as code examples and images encoded in that format. Also provided in the articles are references for further information.

Part Three, Appendices, contains the following material:

We also include a Glossary, which gives definitions for terms in the text.

"For Further Information" sections throughout the book list suggestions for further reading.

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This page is taken from the Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats and is licensed by O'Reilly under the Creative Common/Attribution license.