Re: Fuzzy images

Subject: Re: Fuzzy images
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 10:50:51 -0600

Kulbir Natt <Kulbir -dot- Natt -at- lis -dot- co -dot- uk> wrote:

> I'm having trouble with some screen shots appearing fuzzy in PDF. This is
> what I'm doing:
> 1. Using a screencapture utility to save a dialogue window as a gif.
> 2. Importing the gif into Framemaker (image placed in an anchored frame) -
> At this point the image appears sharp when viewed on screen and printed.
> 3. Using distiller to convert into PDF - here things go fuzzy..
> I've tried using different formats (JPegs, Bmps...) - no luck.
> Somebody suggested I need to use a vector graphics format using
> Ilustrator, exporting gfx to EPS and inserting by reference -- This all
> seems a bit much for a simple screen shot...but I'll have a go at
> the meantime are there any other solutions?

Ignore the advice about using a vector format. A screen shot is, of
necessity, a bitmap, so you gain nothing by importing it into a vector
drawing program (it will still be a bitmap).

Also, don't use JPEG, which is intended for continuous-tone images such as
photos and uses lossy compression. Stick with GIF, TIFF, BMP, PCX, etc. You
can use EPS (some folks swear by it and Adobe's experts recommend it for all
graphics; but then, they're biased <g>). In my opinion, however, it's not
worth the trouble for your basic 256-color bitmapped screen captures.

Be aware that resizing the graphics after import into Frame can cause
serious loss of resolution. Size the graphics correctly on import by
specifying the appropriate DPI. For printing purposes, a DPI setting that
divides evenly into the printer resolution works best.

In your Distiller job options, turn Downsampling OFF and set Compression to
ZIP (which is lossless).


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com
rgcombs -at- free-market -dot- net


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