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newbie question on filling color

Jun 15, 2014, 16:59
Post: #1
newbie question on filling color
I do familytree work and one of the parts is scanning old documents, these have many smudges and most of all the paper is so grey it is hard to read what is written,is there a way to fill in the background grey color with white without coloring the writing?What I am asking is there a way to select the grey only and color it white.
thanks
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Jun 15, 2014, 17:06
Post: #2
RE: newbie question on filling color
(Jun 15, 2014 16:59)larrymcintosh1 Wrote:  I do familytree work and one of the parts is scanning old documents, these have many smudges and most of all the paper is so grey it is hard to read what is written,is there a way to fill in the background grey color with white without coloring the writing?What I am asking is there a way to select the grey only and color it white.
thanks
Hi Larry,
If you could attach a sample of what you are trying to work with it would help us a lot to help you.
That said, in my experience scanned/photocopied documents 'grey' areas you speak of are not just one shade of grey. Hence if you try Colors->Color to Alpha does not work as you expect.
It is better to try and adjust things like Colors->Curves and/or Colors->Posterize.
But if you attach one of your documents, it will help determine the best strategy to use.
Smile
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Jun 15, 2014, 17:17
Post: #3
RE: newbie question on filling color
(Jun 15, 2014 17:06)fluffybunny2 Wrote:  
(Jun 15, 2014 16:59)larrymcintosh1 Wrote:  I do familytree work and one of the parts is scanning old documents, these have many smudges and most of all the paper is so grey it is hard to read what is written,is there a way to fill in the background grey color with white without coloring the writing?What I am asking is there a way to select the grey only and color it white.
thanks
Hi Larry,
If you could attach a sample of what you are trying to work with it would help us a lot to help you.
That said, in my experience scanned/photocopied documents 'grey' areas you speak of are not just one shade of grey. Hence if you try Colors->Color to Alpha does not work as you expect.
It is better to try and adjust things like Colors->Curves and/or Colors->Posterize.
But if you attach one of your documents, it will help determine the best strategy to use.
Smile

here is a sample
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Jun 15, 2014, 17:22
Post: #4
RE: newbie question on filling color
k I don't see where I can send an attatchment example
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Jun 15, 2014, 17:25 (This post was last modified: Jun 15, 2014 17:31 by fluffybunny2.)
Post: #5
RE: newbie question on filling color
(Jun 15, 2014 17:22)larrymcintosh1 Wrote:  k I don't see where I can send an attatchment example
You can choose the 'edit' button on your reply, then choose 'full edit'.
Then scroll down to the bottom of the web page and you will see the 'attachment' section. Choose 'browse' to locate the image on your computer then choose the 'Add attachment' button
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Jun 15, 2014, 17:39
Post: #6
RE: newbie question on filling color
A simple and efficient technique to whiten and increase contrast:

- duplicate the layer
- blur the top layer heavily using Gaussian blur (it seems a good blur radius is about the height of two lines)
- put the top layer in "Grain extract" mode

In attached: original, blur 50px and the result, blur 200px and the result

[attachment=3640]

Now answering your questions on
https://Gimp-Forum.net
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Jun 15, 2014, 22:50 (This post was last modified: Jun 15, 2014 22:52 by larrymcintosh1.)
Post: #7
RE: newbie question on filling color
(Jun 15, 2014 17:17)larrymcintosh1 Wrote:  
(Jun 15, 2014 17:06)fluffybunny2 Wrote:  
(Jun 15, 2014 16:59)larrymcintosh1 Wrote:  I do familytree work and one of the parts is scanning old documents, these have many smudges and most of all the paper is so grey it is hard to read what is written,is there a way to fill in the background grey color with white without coloring the writing?What I am asking is there a way to select the grey only and color it white.
thanks
Hi Larry,
If you could attach a sample of what you are trying to work with it would help us a lot to help you.
That said, in my experience scanned/photocopied documents 'grey' areas you speak of are not just one shade of grey. Hence if you try Colors->Color to Alpha does not work as you expect.
It is better to try and adjust things like Colors->Curves and/or Colors->Posterize.
But if you attach one of your documents, it will help determine the best strategy to use.
Smile

here is a sample

(Jun 15, 2014 17:25)fluffybunny2 Wrote:  
(Jun 15, 2014 17:22)larrymcintosh1 Wrote:  k I don't see where I can send an attatchment example
You can choose the 'edit' button on your reply, then choose 'full edit'.
Then scroll down to the bottom of the web page and you will see the 'attachment' section. Choose 'browse' to locate the image on your computer then choose the 'Add attachment' button
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Jun 17, 2014, 22:02
Post: #8
RE: newbie question on filling color
So let me clarify: You have a picture, that is mostly grey, so the background blends in too much with the text. You want to change the grey in the background to white, so it is easier to read the text, correct? I'm assuming this is what you're trying to fix, if not, please correct me.

Anyways, first thing you are going to want to do is select all of the text. If you have the text as a layer in your picture, just right click on the layer, and hit 'Alpha to selection' and it will select the entire layer for you. If it's part of the picture, just use the path tool, carefully select each letter, and once it is all selected, hit enter. Also, this is very important: Once you're almost done selecting each letter, press down CTRL, and then left click so the last part will attach the end of the selection to the beginning, if you understand what I'm trying to say here. If you don't know what the path tool is, it's the tool in this picture that is shaded:
http://docs.gimp.org/en/images/toolbox/toolbox-path.png

Now that your text is selected, you are going to want to invert the selection. What that will do is select everything except for the text. To do that, all you need to do is hold down CTRL, hold down "I" on your keyboard, release, then boom, everything except for the text is selected.

So now that the background is selected (Or everything except for the text), you are going to need to click on the bucket tool. Once again if you don't know which tool I am talking about, it is highlighted in this link:
http://docs.gimp.org/en/images/toolbox/toolbox-fill.png

Now, you need to change the foreground color to white. If you don't know how to do that, just follow the few simple steps in the link below:
http://0.tqn.com/d/create/1/0/O/4/A/-/im...ient-1.png

So now that you have both of these done: The background selected, and the foreground color to white, all you need to do is left click on the selected region with your bucket tool, and then you're done! The background is now white. If you need anymore help just reply, I hope this helped.
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Jun 18, 2014, 00:39
Post: #9
RE: newbie question on filling color
Ok I guess I can't get the hang of using gimp.Thanks for trying but I don't seem to be able to do the layers and text select. thanks
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Jun 18, 2014, 08:11 (This post was last modified: Jun 18, 2014 09:39 by rich2005.)
Post: #10
RE: newbie question on filling color
(Jun 18, 2014 00:39)larrymcintosh1 Wrote:  Ok I guess I can't get the hang of using gimp.Thanks for trying but I don't seem to be able to do the layers and text select. thanks

Do not get put off by what seems to be complicated procedures.

There is a similar topic on improving old documents
http://gimpforums.com/thread-correcting-...-documents have a look at that.
However there are still some basics in Gimp, selections, layers, colours that you will have to grasp (sometime).

Edit: Sometimes a few pictures are worth a thousand words.

This is little video (3.5 mins) on one way to improve a document. The problem is every document is different and has to be considered on its own. Regardless, this is a demo, not a tutorial and might help you getting started with Gimp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LegGK2WBkKI&hd=1

It does use a third-party plugin for Gimp called Gmic which you can get here

http://gmic.sourceforge.net/gimp.shtml

Gmic actually has a filter - repair scanned documents.

** https://www.gimp-forum.net/ now answering questions**
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