• Bitmap images, also called raster or paint images, are made of individual dots called pixels (picture elements) that are arranged and colored differently to form a pattern. When you zoom in, you can see the individual squares that make up the total image. Increasing the size of a bitmap has the effect of increasing individual pixels, making lines and shapes appear jagged. Reducing the size distorts the original image because pixels are removed to reduce the overall image size. Because a bitmap is created as a collection of arranged pixels, its parts cannot be manipulated (e.g., moved) individually.
  • Creating characters or images by creating a “picture” (matrix) of individual bits (pixels). The individual bits may just be binary (black and white) or high definition color. In color systems, the “z-axis” of each pixel has a value which represents the “shade of gray” or color of the bit. This value can be as high as 32 bits for very high resolution color. This results in a large, uncompressed file. For instance, a 300 dpi, E-Size drawing bit map is approximately 16MB.


  1. Vinson & Elkins LLP Practice Support, EDD Glossary.
  2. Formerly American Document Management, Glossary of Terms, now 5i Solutions Glossary.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email