How to Convert Images to Bitmap Mode in Photoshop Elements 11

In Photoshop Elements 11, Bitmap mode isn’t the same as the Windows BMP file format. In Elements, Bitmap mode is a color mode with only two color values — black and white. A Windows BMP file can be an image in RGB, Grayscale, or Bitmap color mode.

Bitmap mode is most commonly used in printing line art, such as black-and-white logos, illustrations, or black-and-white effects that you create from your RGB images. Also, you can scan your analog signature as a bitmap image and import it into other programs, such as Microsoft Office programs. If you’re especially creative, you can combine bitmap images with RGB color to produce many interesting effects.

Converting RGB color to bitmap is a two-step process. You first convert to grayscale and then convert from grayscale to bitmap. If you use the Bitmap menu command while in RGB color, Elements prompts you to convert to grayscale first.

To convert RGB mode to Bitmap mode, do the following:


Open an image that you want to convert to Bitmap mode in the Photo Editor.

You can use either Expert or Quick mode.


Choose Image→Mode→Bitmap.

If you start in RGB mode, Elements prompts you to convert to Grayscale mode.


Click OK.

The Bitmap dialog box opens, providing options for selecting the output resolution and a conversion method.


Select a resolution.

By default, the Bitmap dialog box displays the current resolution. You can edit the text box and type a new resolution value or accept the default.


Under the Method heading, select one of the settings from the Use drop-down menu.

50% Threshold: This choice results in half the pixels turning white and the other half turning black. You see a piece of artwork that appears solid black and white.

Pattern Dither: Dithering results in an illusion of gray pixels according to the placement of the blacks and whites. When using a pattern dither, the image is dithered according to a defined pattern.

Diffusion Dither: This option results in the best view of a black-and-white photo where the dithering appears with grays as well as blacks and whites.


Click OK to convert your image to Bitmap mode.

The RGB image was converted to bitmap by using 50% Threshold, Pattern Dither, and Diffusion Dither.

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