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Programming Visual Basic 2008 by Tim Patrick

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Imagining Images

Probably more than anything else, the Internet has fueled the average computer user's need for visual stimuli. Web sites are awash with GIF, JPG, TIFF, and a variety of other image formats. Even if you deal with non-web applications, it's likely that you, as a programmer, will come into more frequent contact with graphical images. Fortunately, GDI+ includes features that let you manage and manipulate these images with ease.

The "BMP" file format is the native bitmap format included in Microsoft Windows, but it's not all that common in the web world. But none of that matters to GDI+. It can load and manage files using the following graphics formats:

  • Windows "BMP" bitmap files of any color depth and size.

  • CompuServe Graphics Interchange Format ("GIF") files, commonly used for non-photo images on the Internet.

  • Joint Photographic Experts Group ("JPEG") files, commonly used for photos and other images on the Internet. JPEG files are compressed internally to reduce file size, but with the possible loss of image quality.

  • Exchangeable Image File ("EXIF") files, a variation of JPEG that stores professional photographs.

  • Portable Network Graphics ("PNG") files, which are similar to GIF files, but with some enhanced features.

  • Tag Image File Format ("TIFF") files, which are kind of a combination of all other file formats. Some government organizations store scanned images using TIFF.

  • Metafiles, which store vector line art instead of bitmap images.

  • Icon ("ICO") files, which are used for ...

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