Desktop Color Separations

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Desktop Colour Separation (DCS) is an enhanced Encapsulated PostScript file format that was introduced by Quark, Inc.[1] It is now primarily used for specialised graphics work particularly images that use multiple channels, e.g. when applying different spot colours to each part of a greyscale image.[2]


In DCS a CMYK graphic is separated into five files; a main file and four pre-separation files, one for each CMYK process colour.[2][1] The main file contains an indication of which separation files are needed and where to find them, together with a composite image information which is used to print a composite of the image.[1][3]


When output to a PostScript printer, the printer driver reads the information in the main file and assigns the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black files to their corresponding separation files.


  1. ^ a b c "OPI and DCS Desktop Color Separation Method Comparison". Adobe Systems Inc. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  2. ^ a b Bear, Jacci Howard. "DCS". About.Com. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
  3. ^ Powers, Lynn (1993-12-10). "Desktop Color Separation (DCS) General Information" (PDF). Adobe Inc. Retrieved 2009-11-04.

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