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About Coordinate Spaces and Transformations

Coordinate spaces and transformations are used by the following types of applications:

  • Desktop publishing applications (to "zoom" parts of a page or to display adjacent pages in a window).
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) applications (to rotate objects, scale drawings, or create perspective views).
  • Spreadsheet applications (to move and size graphs).

The following illustrations show successive views of an object created in a drawing application. The first illustration shows the object as it appears in the original drawing; the succeeding five illustrations show the effects of applying various transformations.

Original shape: a circle quartered by horizontal and vertical lines, with a box at the top

Original shape, but scaled up

Original shape, but translated (shifted) to the right

Original shape, but rotated counter-clockwise

Original shape, but sheared vertically

Original shape, but reflected relative to the X-axis

The following subtopics describe various aspects of coordinate spaces and transformations.