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Re: [BKARTS] File format for colour photocopy-raster, vector, and text

My personal opinion after some experimentation is that you should find a
print shop you like and find out what kind of software they can use or find
a print shop that uses the software you want to use.

If you are talking about printing pictures, many print shops will only
mention raster image formats such as TIFF and JPG which are the file types
produced when scanning. Most say there is not much point in going much over
400 dpi for photographic type images. The question that has to be asked
however is, will there be any lines or text in the printed pages such as
when doing a book. In that case you really don't want to scan every page of
your book as 1200 dpi is really required when scanning or printing line
illustrations, images that have a mixture of photographic and line images,
or text. Otherwise you will see a lot of stair stepping in the images. Page
sized scanned images of 1200 dpi are way to high for almost anyone to be
working with.

Computer programs such as Photoshop and Photopaint are great for working
with single raster photographic images, but they are not really useful as
the final format to print from when doing a book that has even a small
amount of lines or text. Books with any lines or text need to be printed
ideally from programs such as Ventura Publisher or Pagemaker. Smaller books
could be done directly in CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator as well. These can
combine raster, vector, and text formats in an efficient way. Most print
shops can print from Adobe Acrobat format so they don't care which program
you have used. Adobe Acrobat is a format that can contain a combination of
raster, vector, and text.

CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator in my opinion are often better for the final
image format as they can combine raster and vector images. For example one
can use a 300 dpi scanned image and overlay it with vector lines and text.
If the image is printed on a 1200 dpi printer, the photographic raster image
will really print at 300 dpi but the lines and text will print at 1200 dpi,
but the image will be way smaller than if the whole image was scanned at
1200 dpi for lines and text. Of course vector line images and text can't be
scanned, rather they need to be drawn as vectors or typed as text. That is
why it is a good idea to plan any book from the start with the final format
in mind.

Some of the new color printers will print at 1200 dpi while others will
print at 600 dpi. HP printers with 600 dpi and resolution enhancement will
really print lines and text at nearly 1200 dpi so they are adequate for
lines and text. Photocopy machines that can print from a file however don't
always reach this printing resolution and quality suffers.

vector...describing lines and arcs with a mathematical formulae.
raster...describing images by a checkerboard of dots
text...printing letters from numbered shape files

Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
8-1200 Brunette Ave. Coquitlam BC V3K1G3 Canada
E-mail: ben@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Energy Website: http://www.benwiens.com
Read my popular web-booklet "Energy Science Made Simple"

-----Original Message-----
Could anyone please help with this problem:  I'm new to artists' books, and
am experimenting with a variety of techniques.  It's proving to be very time
consuming, and I'd like to scan the finished pages into the computer and
to disc for reproducing on a colour photocopier.  The local printers
suggested scanning images at 400 dpi but there is some disagreement over the
type of file - JPEG, bitmap, or is there a better format?   Also, is 400 dpi
a high enough resolution for a photocopier?
I've searched the archives, but can't find anything on this subject, though
it's probably been discussed before,
South Australia

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