1. Tech

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Back to Last Page>     Full Glossary>

Definition: Dithering scatters different colored pixels in an image to make it appear as though there are intermediate colors in images with a limited color palette. (Continued below...)

Your operating system will automatically dither images when your display settings are set to 256 colors or less. Dithering is often used to reduce banding in GIFs with graduated color transitions. Most software provides options that let you control the appearance of the scattered pixels; for example, the dithering can be a rigid pattern, random noise, or diffusion. Keep in mind that dithering often increases the file size of an image, but in many cases the improved appearance is worth the trade-off. Below are several examples of different types of dithering. The last example is is not dithered. Notice the changes in file size for the various types of dithering.

Diffusion dithering, 4 color GIF, 2.00 KB

Pattern dithering, 4 color GIF, 1.31 KB

Noise dithering, 4 color GIF, 2.36 KB

No dithering, 256 color GIF, 6.00 KB

 Related Terms
• pixel
Also Known As: noise, dithered, noisy

Related Resources:

Optimizing Animated GIFs
Includes file size comparisons of dithered and non-dithered images.

Elsewhere on the Web:

The pros and cons of dithering and when and when not to use dithering in your images.

Dithering & Decreasing Color Depth in Paint Shop Pro
A tutorial from psptips.com.


Back to Last Page>     Full Glossary>

Explore Graphics Software
By Category
    graphicssoftGraphics SoftwarecomputeTechaf50463b14001739be8248082f518aa6b40003f12d02fb92http://graphicssoft.about.comod526F6F74134324liveTom Greengraphicssoftguide4MO000EYzNIP11970-01-0110/od/index.htm0526F6F741approved/od
  1. About.com
  2. Tech
  3. Graphics Software
  4. Beginner Basics
  5. Graphics Glossary
  6. Dithering - Graphics Software Glossary

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.