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can't get image to print at correct size

Mar 8, 2012, 19:28
Post: #1
can't get image to print at correct size
Hello, I'm a very new user to GIMP but have been using paint shop pro for quite some time - I still use version 7 Smile

Here's the situation: I received a pdf that I want to print so I imported it into gimp. It's 8.5x11 at 100dpi & two pages. So I imported it as two images (not layers) at same resolution settings. White out the unnecessary images go to print and then to printer preferences. 300 dpi is the smallest resolution on my printer so I also select 8.5x11 paper & 'sale to fit.' The resulting image is so large that approx only the top-left quarter of the doc prints.

OK, so in GIMP I go to 'Print Size' change the image resolution to 300 pixels: same result, exactly

Hmmm... print size isn't it, lets try 'Scale Image' at 300 pixels. Same result again... grrrrr

I tried both settings above with 'scale to fit' (printer) on & off with absolutely no changes to the printed image... very strange. Is gimp overriding my printer settings? If so how do I correct this?

Interestingly, when I re-sized the images in gimp (or thats what I thought I was doing with 'print size' & 'scale image') the size of the view-able image on the desktop in the application window did not change... the size of the window stayed the same, the zoom percentage did not change & most importantly the image did not change.

Finally, I checked if the original image prints correctly in Adobe Reader: No problem and it prints fine. Unfortunately, while I have what I need, I'm not one to give up that easily Smile and want to know if the issue is the printer, gimp or most likey me. LOL

Does anyone know why I can't get the image to print in GIMP at the correct size? I was really hoping to start using this application that I've heard several good things about - Thank you!

Windows XP Home SP3 - I just reformatted the hard drive last week so everything is a new clean install Smile
Hp Officejet 4215 all-in-one
GIMP 2.4.7
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Mar 8, 2012, 21:25
Post: #2
RE: can't get image to print at correct size
The answer to your question is GIMP. On Windows, printing from GIMP went wrong a long time ago (and you are using a very old version of GIMP).

In theory it's better now, but on my Windows XP system, GIMP 2.6.7 hangs the print spooler, so I never use GIMP to print.

It is also possible to install a printing plug-in called Gutenprint, but I'm not sure if it would support the old version of GIMP you are using.

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Mar 8, 2012, 21:52
Post: #3
RE: can't get image to print at correct size
First off, Gimp isn't really designed to print PDFs. There are plenty of utilities to print PDFs starting with the Adobe PDF viewer...

Quote:Here's the situation: I received a pdf that I want to print so I imported it into gimp. It's 8.5x11 at 100dpi & two pages.
Definitely not. A PDF has no notion of DPI. A PDF has only an intended print size. Since it is fundamentally vector graphics and not a bitmap it prints at any size. Some PDF have embedded bitmaps so this isn't 100% true, but this is still a general rule/principle. By contrast, Gimp handles bitmaps. In bitmaps the important factor is the size in pixels. The more pixels, the more detail. Computer displays are bitmap devices (with 75-120pixels/inch resolution). Printers are also bitmap devices (used with 150 to 600PPI resolution). Size in pixels, resolution, and physical display/print size are completely linked. You cannot define the three independently, any of the two determine the third one.

pixels/resolution=physical size
pixels/physical size=resolution
physical size * resolution=pixels

When you load your PDF in Gimp it becomes a bitmap. Gimp sees the intended print size, so, to obtain a size in pixels it can use to render the PDF into a bitmap, it lets you specify either a size in pixels or a print resolution. It computes the one you didn't specify using the one you specified and the intended print size in the PDF. Then it creates a bitmap of the requested size(*) and keeps the assumed print resolution for later use. If you use the "Image/Image properties" dialog, you'll notice that the print size displayed there is the same intended print size from the PDF.

At that point, to change the actual print size from Gimp you have two options:

1) Use Image/Set print size. You'll notice that in this dialog, you can only change the PPI or the print size, but not the size in pixels.

2) Use Image/Canvas size. This changes only the size in pixels of the image. The print resolution isn't changed, so the physical print size changes. This option is very radical because f you reduce the size in pixels, you are losing image detail, and it won't come back if you change your mind. You cannot also expect to enlarge significantly the image this way, because to increase size you'll increase blurriness since there won't be any additional detail for the added pixels.

With that in mind, redo your tests. But before each print, check Image/Image properties and note down size in pixels, print resolution, and physical print size. And make sure your printer options don't come in to play.

(*) The good thing here is that you can have Gimp generate a bitmap of the size you want. You can blow up the image 100x (if you have enough RAM....) and still get excellent quality, because vector graphics can be scaled at will and this upscale occurs before rendering pixels for the bitmap.

Now answering your questions on
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Mar 9, 2012, 00:58
Post: #4
RE: can't get image to print at correct size
Thanks for the replies!

First - How the heck did I end up with an old version? LOL corrected that!

Second - Thank you for the PDF education. Your explanation has cleared up a couple issues I've had with PDF's in the past but never followed through with - now I know why I've had so much trouble with 'em. The only reason I did this time was I really want to learn how to use GIMP Smile

Basically, now I know for PDF's - IF - I want to do anything simple like blank out some pics, i'll just import into GIMP (gotta use a higher resolution during the import process to get a decent image) save as a jpg/tff/gif and then re-open to make quick edits and print - after adjusting the size Smile Maybe i'll just stick with the old PSP version for the printing though Wink

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