The most common types of vector file are AI (Adobe Illustrator), EPS (Encapsulated PostScript), PDF (Portable Document Format), and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics).
Advantages and disadvantages of vector files.
There are both pros and cons to using vector images over the raster format.
Advantages of vector images.
Some of the major benefits of vector files include:
- Infinite resolution.
There’s virtually no limit on how big you can make a vector image without losing its resolution. In contrast, raster files only maintain their resolution when fitted to a specific size. The bigger you stretch them, the more the quality can decline.
- Lighter file sizes.
By avoiding blocks of pixels, vector files tend to be more lightweight than raster images such as photos, which can feature lots of camera data.
- Plenty of design features.
You can add shapes, text, different colors, and filters to create unique illustrations and designs — plus, you can easily go back and edit over and over again.
Disadvantages of vector images.
These are some of the disadvantages of using vector files:
- Less useful for complex photos.
Highly detailed digital photos may be better suited to the raster format, where their individual pixels can be edited. Vector files tend to be more suitable for graphics rather than photographs.
- Compatibility issues.
You’ll need a vector-based design program like Adobe Illustrator to open and work on vector files. Editing vectors in raster-based software can prove difficult.
- Conversion difficulties.
It’s generally much harder to convert a raster image to a vector file than the other way around because it requires more computing power.
Vector files: frequently asked questions.