As useful as curves and lines are, most modern applications also include the need to load and display professionally produced, prepackaged images. Also, some applications themselves produce images that can be saved to a file for later display. Both kinds of applications are supported by the two kinds of images in .NET: bitmaps and metafiles.

A bitmap is a set of pixels at certain color values stored in a variety of standard raster formats such as Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) (.gif files) and Joint Picture Experts Group (JPEG) (.jpg files), as well as Windows-specific formats such as Windows bitmap (.bmp files) and Windows icon (.ico files). A metafile is a set of shapes that make up a vector format, such as a GraphicsPath, but can ...

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