What is the difference between vector and bitmap files?

A vector object is a mathematical description of a geometric form. Vector paths are defined by points, which are used to create lines and curves, called vectors. Vector objects are not resolution dependent; there is no degradation in quality when you zoom in or scale them larger or smaller. On the vector object below, notice how smooth the paletteā€™s edges appear even when magnified.
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In contrast, a bitmap image is made up of a grid of pixels (coloured dots). Images with complex color variations, such as photographs like the one below, are most often bitmap images. When the photograph is viewed at the correct resolution, its pixels fit together like tiles in a mosaic to form the image. Bitmap images are resolution dependent; the quality of the image will decrease when you zoom in or scale it larger.
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