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A Glossary of Photoshop Terms - "D"

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 2/24/2009

Photoshop terms that begin with the letter D. Find out about DCS, dither, dodge, and more.

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    DCS: Desktop Color Separations format is a version of the standard EPS format that lets you save not only the file or image but also its CMYK or multichannel color separations you see in the Channels palette. DCS 2.0 allows you to save spot channels too. These files can then be exported to various other graphics programs, and their separations can be printed on PostScript printers.

    Diameter: Controls the size of the brush and can be set using the slider or by typing in a number.

    Direct Selection tool: Use this tool when you want to edit the paths that you’ve created. Paths allow you to create custom outlines of shapes for various uses, including creating a custom shape, using the shape or path as a mask to hide areas of a layer, or for using it as a clipping path.

    Discontiguous: This is a Limits option that specifies that erasures are performed underneath the brush.

    Distort: A Transform tool that allows you to move an image in any direction at all. Distort is also a filter that allows you to manipulate an image drastically, offering special effects.

    Distribute: Allows you to distribute layers or selections within an image. There are several ways to distribute objects: top, vertical center, left, horizontal center, and right.

    Dither: Reduces visible banding related to gradients when using the Gradient tool.

    Docking: The Palette Well offers a place to dock palettes that you don’t want on the screen but you still want to have access to without having to use the Window menu. To dock a palette, simply drag it from its place in the workspace to the Palette Well.

    Dodge tool: Used to darken areas of an image or print. The Dodge tool’s name comes from the traditional photographer’s method of reducing the amount of light made available when exposing the film to get the picture.

    Dot gain: The inherent “growth" of a halftone dot when printed on paper, vellum, or film. A small dot can grow as much as 50 percent or more when printed. Dot gain can also occur when the ink is printed on the shirt.

    dpi: Dots per inch. This describes how many dots per inch can be printed on a page and is a measure of how good a printer is. Generally, printers can print many more dots per inch than the pixels per inch that need to be printed.

    Duplicate: Used to duplicate an entire image and is useful when you want to make changes to a file, such as a photograph, without applying any changes to the actual file that’s saved on the hard drive. Duplicate is a choice in the Image menu.