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A Glossary of Photoshop Terms - "L"

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

Photoshop terms that begin with the letter L. Find out about lasso, layer, limits, and more.

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    Labels: When printing, check this to print the file name above the image.

    Lasso tools: There are three Lasso tools: the Lasso tool, the Polygonal Lasso tool, and the Magnetic Lasso tool. The first two choices let you draw around an object using curves and line segments, respectively, and the third lets you draw around an object and have the drawn lines snap to the object (based on calculations determined by color differences in the object and the background).

    Layer: Layers are like transparencies, which are clear plastic sheets of material that can be printed on. The transparencies can be printed and stacked on top of one another to form a complex picture, and single transparencies can be removed from the stack for editing or removal. When you create artwork in Photoshop 7.0, you can create it on layers similar to these transparencies—text on one layer, background image on another, and perhaps a selection pasted from another file on another. These layers can then be edited independently of each other, making the editing process more efficient and precise.

    Layer masks: Used to obscure entire layers and layer sets. By using masks, you can apply special effects without actually affecting any of the original data on that layer. After you’ve found the perfect effect, you can then apply the changes. The changes can also be discarded. Layer masks are created using the painting and selection tools.

    Leading: Leading is the amount of space between lines of text in a paragraph.

    Limits: Allows you to choose from Contiguous, Discontiguous, and Find Edges when using the Background Eraser tool. Contiguous erases colors that are next to the original sample, Discontiguous erases underneath the brush, and Find Edges looks for and finds the edges of an image and erases to those edges.

    Line screen: Also called screen ruling, line screen is how many lines of halftone dots appear per linear inch on a printed page, positive or negative. Line screen is measured in lines per inch (lpi). Lines per inch is limited by the output device and the paper or film you print on. Common lpi for screen printers range from 55 lpi to 65 lpi. Newspapers print around 85 lpi and magazines around 133 or 155 lpi.

    Line tool: Allows you to draw straight lines using the mouse. The Line tool is located with the other Shape tools and draws vector-based lines.

    lpi: Lines per inch is a term used by offset printers, screen printers, and other graphic artists to describe how many lines or dots per inch will be in a halftone screen. Screen printers generally output their images at 55 to 65 lpi, depending on the type of print process (spot or process) and other factors such as the type of screen used and its mesh count and the type of ink used.