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Programming Windows®, Fifth Edition by Charles Petzold

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Bitmap Basics

Both bitmaps and metafiles have their place in computer graphics. Bitmaps are often used for very complex images originating in the real world, such as digitized photographs or video captures. Metafiles are more suitable for human-generated or machine-generated images, such as architectural drawings. Both bitmaps and metafiles can exist in memory or be stored on a disk as files, and both can be transferred among Windows applications through the clipboard.

The difference between bitmaps and metafiles is the difference between raster graphics and vector graphics. Raster graphics treats output devices in terms of discrete pixels; vector graphics treats the output device as a Cartesian coordinate system upon which lines and filled objects ...

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