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Transparency (projection)

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Title: Transparency (projection)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Presentation slide, Layers (digital image editing), Spatial light modulator, Dry transfer, Foil
Collection: Display Technology, Office Equipment, Presentation
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Transparency (projection)

Overhead projector in operation, with a transparency being flashed.

A transparency, also known in industrial settings as a "viewfoil" or "foil", is a thin sheet of video projectors and interactive whiteboards.


  • Printing on transparencies 1
  • Uses for transparencies 2
  • Spatial light modulators (SLMs) 3
  • See also 4

Printing on transparencies

Transparencies can be printed on in one of two ways.

First, a laser printer can be connected to a computer, which is loaded with a cartridge of cellulose acetate sheets. An image or document is then created within the computer, though images are prevalent due to text being illegible at certain distances from a projection, and then formatted to be printed. From there, the printer is engaged and the document printed onto the sheet of acetate. Some people prefer to test the transparency before sending it out to the person requesting it.

Secondly, some black and white or color copiers are able to print onto, or can be configured to handle, acetate sheets. A person may place a document or a book on the surface of the copying machine and make one or several copies onto acetate, if there are simultaneous meetings or if another company or organization wants a copy.

Specialist transparencies are available for use with laser printers that are better able to handle the high temperatures present in the fuser unit. For inkjet printers, coated transparencies are available that can absorb and hold the liquid ink - although care must be taken to avoid excessive exposure to moisture, which can cause the transparency to become cloudy; they must also be loaded correctly into the printer as they are only usually coated on one side.

Uses for transparencies

Uses for transparencies are as varied as the organizations that use them.

Certain classes, such as those associated with Mathematics or History, used transparencies to illustrate a point or problem. Math classes in particular use a roll of acetate to illustrate sufficiently long problems and to create illustrations a computer cannot, due to a lack of math symbols on a standard computer keyboard. This problem is typically limited to High School and College-level mathematics, because of the inclusion of Algebra and Calculus courses, respectively. In recent years, more and more colleges are switching to digital projectors and Powerpoint presentations.

Aerospace companies, like Boeing and Beechcraft, used transparencies for years in management meetings in order to brief engineers and relevant personnel about new aircraft designs and changes to existing designs, as well as bring up illustrated problems.[1]

Some churches and other religious organizations used them to show sermon outlines and illustrate certain topics such as Old Testament battles and Jewish artifacts during worship services, as well as outline business meetings.

In printed circuit board (PCB) production using photochemical machining, transparencies are used to transfer the copper artwork to a photoresist using ultraviolet light exposure.

Spatial light modulators (SLMs)

Many OLEDs.

See also

  1. ^ Serling, Robert J. (1992). Legend and Legacy: The Story of Boeing and It's People. St. Martin's Press. p. 449.  
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