Dot matrix

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A dot matrix is a 2-dimensional patterned array, used to represent characters, symbols and images. Most types of modern technology use dot matrices for display of information, including mobile phones, televisions, and printers. The system is also used in textiles with sewing, knitting and weaving.

Close-up view of dot matrix text produced by a printer
Dot matrix pattern woven into fabric in 1858 using punched cards on a Jacquard loom
Dot matrix-style skywriting

An alternate form of information display using lines and curves is known as a vector display, was used with early computing devices such as air traffic control radar displays and pen-based plotters but is no longer used. Electronic vector displays were typically monochrome only, and either leave the interiors of closed vector shapes unfilled, or perform slow, time-consuming and often non-uniform shape-filling, as on pen-based plotters.

In printers, the dots are usually the darkened areas of the paper. In displays, the dots may light up, as in an LED, CRT, or plasma display, or darken, as in an LCD.