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Chapter 4. Resolution Solutions > Ben's Techno-Babble Decoder Ring

Ben's Techno-Babble Decoder Ring

Samples Per Inch (spi)— Determines the area a scanner will measure to determine the color of a single pixel. You can figure out the samples per inch setting that you need by multiplying the desired image resolution (ppi) by the amount the image will be scaled. Example: desired resolution 300 ppi, scale 200%; 300 x 200% = 600 spi.

Pixels Per Inch (ppi)— Determines how small the pixels in an image will be when printed. A setting of 150 ppi means that pixels will be 1/150 of an inch when printed. The higher the setting, the smaller the pixels.

Dots Per Inch (dpi)— Determines the size of the dots an output device will use when printing an image. A 300 dpi laser printer uses black dots that are 1/300 of an inch. This term is often used incorrectly to describe the resolution of an image (which should be measured in ppi).

Lines Per Inch (lpi)— Determines the spacing of halftone dots, and therefore their maximum size. The higher the lpi setting, the more apparent detail you can reproduce.

Imagesetter— A type of high-end output device that is used to output images onto photographic paper or film. Imagesetters are capable of outputting only pure black and pure white dots. The minimum resolution of an imagesetter is 2540 dpi.

Thermal Wax— A type of CMYK output device that bonds a waxy substance to a special type of paper. If you scratch the output of a thermal wax printer with your fingernail, you will usually be able to scratch off some of the waxy substance.

Inkjet— A type of output device that sprays CMYK inks onto special paper. Upon close inspection, the output of an inkjet printer typically appears noisy because the printer uses a diffusion dither pattern to simulate shades of gray.

Dye-Sub— A type of output device that produces a continuous-tone result by heating CMY dyes until they turn into a gas (without first becoming a liquid). The output of a dye-sub printer has a continuous-tone glossy look that resembles a photographic print.

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