A multimedia system is an information system that combines different types of media into interactive information systems. A multimedia system uses at least three media types. These being Text, Images, Animation, Audio and Video.


Example of Text in a print publication
Example of Text in a print publication

Multimedia systems include a significant amount of text. Text refers to letters, numbers and other characters separated by white space characters (non-printing characters). Text is the most common form in which information is presented. Often, the images, sound, video and other media within the system are there to reinforce the text content. Numbers are generally only used when the user performs a function such as navigating through a presentation. Often, when numbers are displayed on the screen, they are presented as text (eg four or three) rather than in numeric form. Text in a multimedia product is written using a word processor.


Images are pictures. They are media displayed as visual information. They can be drawings, paintings or photographs. Images are used to create interest and provide information. Photographs and other types of graphical data are designed specifically for display. An image on a screen is made up of dots called pixels. A pixel is the smallest part of the screen that can be controlled by the computer or other device. The total number of pixels on a screen is called its resolution. (ie New iPad has Retina display, 2048 x 1536 resolution). An image can be represented in two different ways. Either a Bitmap or a Vector. Typical file formats for a bitmap can be JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP. Vector images can be SVG, WMF and EMF.