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Image Editing Terminology

Learn image editing terminology for an easier method of adjusting your photos. Get a sleek professional look when you take advantage of this handy guide to definitions and image editing terms.

Aliasing: This refers to what occurs when you enlarge a bitmap. The result is jagged edges of the image as the parts of a bitmap are harder to replicate when it is enlarged. The smaller a bitmap is, the cleaner the edges appear.

Bitmaps: fixed resolution images which are tricky to resize. They are made of pixels set in a fixed grid. Common file formats, such as .gif, .jpg and .tff are all types of bitmaps.

CMYK: refers to a color mode. Each letter corresponds with a color; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. This color mode is used for printing images on publications. To use these colors on the web requires a conversion to a RGB mode.

Digital Resolution: this measures the number of pixels in an image or a printer. Different software uses pixels per inch to measure either image resolution or printer resolution. Some examples of this are Adobe Photoshop and Corel Photo Paint. The more pixels or dots of ink per inch, the sharper the image appears.

Lines Per Inch: otherwise known as LPI, this halftone resolution is used during the printing process when printers simulate solid parts of images by printing lines per inch.

Pixelated: this refers to a grainy image and happens when an image is enlarged. The graininess seen is actually the individual dots of color.

RGB: Like CMYK, RGB is a color mode. It stands for Red, Green and Blue. This color mode is used for images on the Web. If the image is printed, the color mode is converted to CMYK.

Vector Images: these images are graphics based on mathematical calculations rather than dots or pixels. They are not dependent on digital resolution thus graphic designers scale them to size without losing image quality or sharpness.