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Convert Images from RGB to Bitmap Mode in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

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 the Microsoft Office applications. If you’re 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 need to first convert to grayscale and then convert from grayscale to bitmap. If you select the Bitmap menu command while in RGB color, Elements prompts you to convert to grayscale first.

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

1Open an image that you want to convert to Bitmap mode.

You can open the image in either Full Photo Edit or Quick Photo Edit mode.

2Choose Image→Mode→Bitmap.

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

3Click OK, and the Bitmap dialog box opens.

The Bitmap dialog box provides options for selecting the output resolution and a conversion method.


4Select 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.


5From the Use drop-down menu, select the appropriate setting.

Settings are 50% Threshold, Pattern Dither, and Diffusion Dither.

Here is a comparison of the different methods used in converting RGB images to bitmaps.

6Click OK.

Your image is converted to Bitmap mode.