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Retro Dither

Black and White is beautiful.

Retro Dither can convert any photo into elegant black and white, and export the result to modern formats as well as MacPaint. Get the App

Top Features

Seven Dithering Algorithms

Retro Dither includes seven different dithering algorithms, so you can get just the right look.

Export to MacPaint

Now you can take any modern photo and display it on Macs going all the way back to 1984. Converting a modern photo to MacPaint format is just a couple clicks away.

Integrated with macOS

Retro Dither is a native Mac app that has a dead simple user interface. Retro Dither feels at home, friendly, and familiar using native dialogs for everything from opening a file to printing.




  1. How is this different from converting to grayscale?
  2. Retro Dither does not convert images to grayscale. It converts them to just use black and white pixels (not shades of gray in-between). To achieve images with just black and white pixels, dithering algorithms are used. These dithering algorithms were discovered in the 1970s and 1980s but most photo manipulation software doesn't have all of them built-in. Representing a full color image using just black and white gives a unique artistic look to the result that differs from grayscale, while mimicking it from a distance.
  3. Why is Retro Dither retro?
  4. Retro Dither's black and white output resembles what photos looked like on displays that could only support black and white, like the original Macintosh. In fact, the default dithering algorithm in Retro Paint was invented by Bill Atkinson, the creator of MacPaint. Retro Dither can even export to MacPaint format. So, now you can take an image you took on your iPhone in the 2020s and display it on your Mac Plus from the 1980s.
  5. How do I open the MacPaint files I export from Retro Dither on a classic Mac?
  6. Retro Dither automatically wraps the exported MacPaint files in MacBinary format. MacBinary is a transfer format that enables files from modern machines to be transferred to an old school Mac without losing their metadata (like their resource forks). So, you will get a ".bin" file output by Retro Dither. This .bin file can be unpacked by software on your classic Mac like Stuffit Expander, Bin Unpack, or the eponymous MacBinary. MacBinary files can also be unpacked by the native archive utility in modern versions of macOS. Once you unpack the MacBinary file, you'll be left with a MacPaint file that you can open using the "Open" command in the file menu of MacPaint like any other MacPaint file. But you should transfer the .bin file to your old Mac and unpack it there, not the naked MacPaint file, so you don't lose the type and creator codes of the file. These codes help MacPaint know the file belongs to it.
  7. What dithering algorithms are included?
  8. Retro Dither currently supports five dithering algorithms: Atkinson Dithering, Floyd-Steinberg Dithering, Minimized Average Error Dithering, Sierra Dithering, Stucki Dithering, Burkes Dithering, and Threshold Dithering.
  9. Is there an iOS, Android, or Windows version?
  10. No, but if the Mac version does well, any of the above is a future possibility. Let us know what you want.
  11. The output images are too zoomed in!?
  12. This is because your original image was high resolution. Use the shrink command in the toolbar or pre-shrink the image before opening it with Retro Dither.
  13. Do you offer site licenses?
  14. Yes, please contact us with your number of potential users to inquire about volume pricing.
  15. What versions of macOS does Retro Dither run on?
  16. Retro Dither should run on any Mac running macOS 10.13 or greater, both Intel and Apple Silicon.

Thanks for using Retro Dither! Tell your friends, and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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