An electronic processing system for reproducing mixed images, i.e., original images having areas of continuous tone and areas of text, in such a manner that both areas are of balanced, good quality in the reproduction. The image to be reproduced is (1) divided into non-overlapping 4.times.4 blocks of pixels or picture elements, and, (2) each block is classified as either of TEXT or IMAGE, based on the values of the 16 pixels within it. The classification is improved by (3) eliminating short runs of blocks with the same classification. The pixel values are then adjusted by appropriately (4) thresholding those in the TEXT blocks and, (5) averaging those in the IMAGE blocks. The IMAGE block values are quantized to one of 17 levels using an improved error diffusing process and then mapped onto a 4.times.4 pattern preparatory to (6) merging the binary images for the TEXT and IMAGE areas. Converting to various patterns to suit the output device such as a specific printer, is possible by permitting the conversion of the bits for an IMAGE block from one pattern table to another.