When you're working with a display system that supports 8-bit color, the monitor displays only 256 different colors at a time. As a result, Adobe Photoshop uses a technique called dithering to mix pixels of available colors and thus simulate colors not currently available.
Note: Most monitors are capable of displaying 24-bit color. To achieve the best results, avoid using 8-bit display mode when editing color images.
By default, Adobe Photoshop uses pattern dithering, which can result in a distinctive pattern of darker or lighter areas in the image. In contrast, diffusion dithering eliminates this distinctive patterning by using the surrounding pixels in the mix of pixel color. But diffusion dithering can cause visual inconsistencies when only part of a screen is redrawn as you scroll, edit, or paint. Keep in mind that dithering effects only appear on-screen, not in print.
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