Re: Which image format

Subject: Re: Which image format
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 18:54:30 -0800

"Wade Courtney" <courtney -at- hsq -dot- com> wrote in message news:231107 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-

> >So here's a question: have you and your boss *seen* a finished book
> from what you're producing? If so, is the
> >qraphics quality poor?
> No, he is only commenting on what comes out of the printers here at the
> office. We have an Oce 31x5 PLC and a Phaser 8200N.
> He's concerned about the color depth, but if the manuals are printed in
> B&W the images will be in grayscale, so color won't matter will it?
I don't know the dpi of those printers (and don't want to go look up the
specs), but if they are "typical" office printers they are probably 300 or
600 dpi. If you send materials off to a printer, the resolution will likely
be 1200 or 2400 dpi.

Color matters if colors "translate" to similar shades of gray and they are
used to diffferentiate things. Fortunately, that's not often true in GUIs:
you're describing standard widgets with standard color characteristics and
labels that are black text on a background.

If I remember my laser printing science correctly, small groups of dots on a
laser printer go into duplicating one pixel in an image. That's in part
because, like in offset printing, you either get a dot of toner or you
don't. (Some laser printers can vary the size of the dots, increasing tonal
qualities.) A few dots in one small group makes a light shade, while many
dots in a small group make a dark shade. But the printer dots don't have a
one-to-one relationship with the pixels in the graphic that it's trying to

Laser printers don't have anywhere close to the number of pixels available
to them for shading that printing presses do. What comes out of your office
printer isn't what you'll see coming off a printing press. The only way to
prove it is to print a sample of both and compare them side-by-side. Most
printers should be able to provide such a sample for comparison.

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day
may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our friends and
break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf

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