Consultants often face the dilemma of the Raster Vs. Vector graphics choice for the PowerPoint presentations. The answer depends on what the graphic shows, and how you plan to use it in your presentation.
- Vector graphics are graphics drawn using lines or shapes
- Raster graphics are made of small dots on screen called pixels
Vector graphics in PowerPoint could be SmartArt, Flowcharts, clip arts, content pasted in WMF or EMF formats or even some types of GIF files. The advantages are that they are small in size, and can be manipulated quickly and easily.
Raster graphics are pictures that are embedded in the PowerPoint. These could be in a variety of formats like JPEG, BMP and TIFF. Although they can increase the presentation size drastically, they give good visual appeal. The visual appeal however, depends on the quality and resolution of the original image, and cannot be altered.
Here is a an illustration of a vector and raster graphic, and how they differ
Although raster images in their original size have good visual appeal, they can appear jagged when their size increases. Notice how the bitmapped image on the right loses its clarity with increased size. The reverse happens when the size is reduced – raster graphics have better clarity than the vector graphics.
Here is a simple guideline on which type of graphic to choose:
|Purpose||Vector or Raster?|
|Further use of graphics in illustrations||Vector|
|Graphics for background images||Preferably high resolution vector, but good quality and compressed JPEG format raster graphics may also be used.|
|If presentation size must be small||Vector|
If raster graphics are used, you can compress the picture from the ‘Picture tools’ tab.
|Need for similar graphics in varying shapes, colors, sizes||Vector|
|Need for visually appealing high quality pictures||Raster graphics where the original image is of good quality and high resolution.|