Desktop Color Separation

A standard data file created as a means of producing color separations in desktop publishing systems. DCS essentially creates five separate files: one is a low-resolution composite file in which the full color image is viewable (as a PICT file), and the other four consist only of separate color data (in EPS format) for each of the process colorsā€”cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Hence, any particular DCS image is often called a five-file EPS file. An RGB TIFF image can be converted to CMYK using any DCS-compatible program, such as Photoshop. This can be done before importing the image into the page makeup program, the low-res viewfile being used on the screen display. Disadvantages of DCS, however, include the increased disk space occupied by the five files, and the fact that if DCS separations are made early in the production process, any changes which will effect the halftone screen ruling (such as changing the paper on which page will be printed) will require new separations to be made.

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