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Chapter 8. Understanding Colors and Chan... > Understanding the Grayscale Color Mo...

Understanding the Grayscale Color Mode

The grayscale color mode utilizes an 8-bit pixel (8 on/off light switches) to generate 1 black, 1 white, and 254 shades of gray. Although scanning and working on old black and white images might seem the obvious reason for using the grayscale color mode; the speed and power of Photoshop, combined with faster computer systems, has prompted most photo restorers to switch to the RGB color space because of its greater versatility, and it's ability to generate millions of colors (or shades of gray). Yet despite the move to RGB, the grayscale color mode is still used extensively on black and white images, where file size is a consideration (grayscale images are 2/3rds smaller than RGB), and where output to rag style papers, such as newsprint, lack the ability to produce the detailed information available with RGB.

Convert an Image to Grayscale

Open an image.

Click the Image menu, point to Mode, and then click Grayscale.

The image is automatically converted into the grayscale color mode.


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