Jaggies refer to the visible, stair-like or jagged edges in a raster image, resulting from the finite resolution of pixels in a grid layout. They commonly occur when diagonal or curved lines are rendered on low-resolution displays or when images are upscaled. Anti-aliasing techniques are often used to mitigate or minimize the appearance of jaggies, by smoothing out the stair-like step transitions between pixels.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword “Jaggies” is: /ˈdʒæɡiz/

Key Takeaways

  1. Jaggies are visible artifacts in digital images caused by the limited resolution or pixelation.
  2. They are most noticeable in diagonal or curved lines, where pixels create a stair-step pattern.
  3. Anti-aliasing techniques can be used to reduce jaggies and improve the appearance of digital images.


The term “jaggies” is important in the realm of computer graphics and digital imaging as it refers to the rough, stair-like edges that can appear when displaying or printing images or graphics at low resolutions or improper scaling.

Jaggies are a result of pixelation, where individual pixels become noticeable due to limitations in screen resolution or image size.

Addressing and minimizing jaggies is essential for the success of digital imagery and gaming industries, and various techniques like anti-aliasing and increasing the DPI (dots per inch) have been developed to combat them.

By reducing the impact of jaggies, images and graphics can achieve smoother, cleaner, and more realistic presentations, enhancing user experience across a multitude of platforms.


Jaggies refer to the stair-like appearance that occurs along the edges of objects or images, particularly in raster graphics or low-resolution digital representations. This phenomenon is a result of pixelation, which takes place when an image’s resolution is not high enough to smoothly represent the object’s curved or diagonal lines.

Consequently, the contours of the image appear jagged, significantly compromising the overall visual quality. Jaggies are most noticeable in media such as video games, digital images, and other graphic displays that rely on raster-based rendering techniques.

To address the issue of jaggies, various anti-aliasing techniques have been developed. Anti-aliasing aims to minimize or eliminate the jagged appearance by manipulating the colors of pixels along the edges to create a smoother transition between the main shapes in an image.

In doing so, this process enhances the overall appearance and quality of the displayed content, making it more visually appealing and user-friendly. Anti-aliasing is utilized in a broad range of digital media applications, including photography, graphic design, video games, and 3D modeling, to ensure the final output exhibits smooth and sharp visuals that effectively convey the intended message or experience.

Examples of Jaggies

Jaggies, also known as aliasing or stairstep artifacts, are visual imperfections that occur when a digital image is displayed or printed at low resolutions. The jagged appearance of the edges in a low-resolution image is due to the limited number of pixels available to represent the image’s continuous lines or curves. Here are three real-world examples of where jaggies might be encountered:

Old Video Games: In low-resolution video game graphics, especially from older gaming consoles such as the Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), or Sega Genesis, jagged edges and pixelated details are common. These games used lower resolutions due to technical constraints, making it difficult to create smooth visuals, often leading to jaggies.

Images Enlargement: When resizing a digital image or photo to a larger size than its original resolution, one may encounter jaggies. This is because the photo-editing software must create new pixels to fill in the larger image size. If done using a simplistic resizing algorithm, the result is often visible stair-stepped artifacts along curved edges and diagonal lines in the image.

Printed Photos at Low Resolution: When printing digital images, if a file’s resolution is too low for the size of the print, jaggies can appear. This may be noticeable in sharp transitions or gradients, such as lines or text in a poster or photographic print. To avoid jaggies in printed materials, it is crucial to use high-resolution images and maintain a high DPI (dots per inch) for the print output.

FAQ: Jaggies

What are Jaggies?

Jaggies are visible artifacts in digital images that appear as rough, jagged, or pixelated edges, typically visible in curves and diagonal lines. They occur due to the limited resolution of these images and the display devices used to view them.

What causes Jaggies?

Jaggies are caused by the aliasing effect that occurs when the digital images do not have enough resolution to represent smooth curved or diagonal lines. The limited resolution of the display devices also contributes to the appearance of Jaggies. When an image is enlarged or zoomed, the pixels become larger and more noticeable, thus making the Jaggies more prominent.

How can I reduce Jaggies in my digital images?

There are several techniques to reduce Jaggies in digital images, including anti-aliasing and using higher resolution images. Anti-aliasing techniques smooth out the Jaggies by introducing intermediate pixel values around jagged edges, creating a smoother appearance. Additionally, using higher-resolution images and displays can help minimize the visibility of Jaggies.

What is the difference between Jaggies and aliasing?

Jaggies are a type of aliasing that specifically refers to the jagged, pixelated edges visible in digital images. Aliasing, in general, is a broader term used to describe the distortion or artifacts that occur when an analog signal or continuous function is sampled or converted into a digital format at a lower resolution than required to accurately represent the original signal or function.

Are Jaggies only present in digital images?

No, Jaggies can also be observed in other forms of digital media such as text, fonts, and graphical UI elements. However, the term ‘Jaggies’ is commonly associated with digital images because they are more prominent and noticeable in images such as photos and illustrations with curved and diagonal lines.

Related Technology Terms


  • Aliasing
  • Anti-aliasing
  • Pixelation
  • Resolution
  • Smooth edges


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