Quartz (graphics layer)

Quartz graphics layer of the Apple operating system Mac OS X. When Quartz is a library for 2D and 3D graphics, which forms the basic representation model for Mac OS X. Based on the cross-platform standard PDF (Portable Document Format) can, Quartz 2D display quality text and graphics with anti-aliasing and to print and provides support for OpenType, PostScript and TrueType fonts.


Quartz consists of the following components:

  • Quartz 2D: A graphics library that is used to display two-dimensional elements and text. This fine structures are shown with the aid of anti -aliasing and sub-pixel rendering.
  • OpenGL: Programming for three-dimensional graphics
  • QuickTime: multimedia architecture (eg, video and audio decoding and output)
  • Quartz Compositor: Window management and display ( window manager )

Starting with Mac OS X 10.2 " Jaguar " Quartz Compositor has been extended with Quartz Extreme. Quartz Extreme uses OpenGL as well as a normal application and handles the desktop as a 3D scene. This allows the graphics card to calculate the effects are used ( such as shadows or animation ), which offloads the main processor.

Comparable trends for other operating systems

Microsoft has developed a similar technique for Windows Vista, the Windows Presentation Foundation.

Under Linux Xgl and AIGLX are comparable with a compositing manager like Enlightenment e17 or Compiz with Quartz Extreme.