[scribus] Printing Issues with Scribus
lyx-devel at oak-tree.us
Mon Nov 1 19:08:25 CET 2010
There are several issues here.
1.) Which program are you using to print the PDF? Make sure that your paper size in Scribus matches that available for your printer. If using Adobe Reader, there is a "Scale to Paper" option available in the printing dialog. Though it may distort your document somewhat, this will ensure that it matches the paper size selected.
2.) The problem is the resolution of the images. Even if you increase the DPI in GIMP, it isn't going to correct the problem. You are, in effect, trying to add data that isn't present.
If the images are from the Internet, it is important to remember that photography is usually downsampled before posting to a website. Once an image has been downsampled, you can't improve the resolution by trying to upsample it again. The additional pixels have been removed. They're gone forever. The upsampling algorithm tries to guess (interpolate) what they might have been, but is usually very hit or miss. My experience with the interpolation algorithm in GIMP is that it is mostly miss. Which means that the image still appears blurry and crappy, just larger.
But that doesn't mean they can't be salvaged. You might have some luck running them through a couple of filters. For starters, if the images are jpegs, run them through a denoising filter. JPEG uses a compression algorithm that causes distortion. When you upsample an image, this becomes very obvious. I'm not sure what GIMP offers, but look for "Remove JPEG artifact" or something to that effect. You might also consider using a median filter, set to 2 or 3 pixels.
After you have run it through a denoising filter, then run a sharpening filter on the image. This will help to restore some of the detail so that it doesn't look quite so blurry. Play with the options until you are happy with the result.
If you can't salvage the image in color, you might convert it to black and white. It's more tolerant of grainy photographs.
Please remember, though, that these are stop-gap measures. If the image appears crappy, no amount of digital manipulation will restore it to pristine quality. The best option is to get a copy of the original, high resolution image. You might have to pay for it.
For a book project I'm working on, I've been horrified at the amount of money museums and collections will charge for high resolution images (mostly public domain works). But that is how the system works. Someone has to take care of the documents, and that costs money.
If you are on a stringent budget, consider looking at Wikimedia commons. They have a number of high quality images that you can download without paying royalties for and you might be able to find an alternative. This includes some absolutely brilliant shots and historical material. (Thousands of high quality images from the London Illustrated Times, for example, are housed there. The Illustrated Times was a weekly publication that covered world events throughout the entire 18th century and it is a goldmine of historical photography, engravings, and other information.) Mind the license, though. Many are released under Creative Commons terms which preclude their use in a commercial project.
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