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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. At what resolution should I scan my photos?
  2. Should I scan my photos in color?
  3. What file format should I use to bring my document to you?
  4. My history is on more than one disk. Is that okay?
  5. Can you do page numbering, or must I do it myself?
  6. How do I get my files to you? They are huge!
  7. Should I use Microsoft Word or Word Perfect?
  8. Do I need to do my own margin shifting for binding?
  9. Why does my picture look awful when it is printed? It looks okay on my screen.
  10. What margins should I use?

1. At what resolution should I scan my photos?

Short Answer:: 150 - 300 dpi.
Long Answer: If all you intend to do is scan the photo and keep it the same physical size, then scan at 150 - 300 dpi. If you are planning to enlarge your photo to a certain size, then you need some additional information. You need to know three things:

  1. the lpi (not dpi) of your target printer (106 lpi for DocuTech printers)
  2. the original size of the photo
  3. the final size of the photo

The following equation is used:

dpi_to_scan_at = (1.5 ) x (lpi) x (% of increase)

Example: (dimensions given as width x height)

I have a photo that is 3" x 2". I want it to be 7" wide instead of 3". Whatever increase you make to one dimension, you need to make to the other dimension. It is a 250% increase from 3" to 7" (7÷3 = 2.5). A 250% increase to the height dimension makes the new height 5". The size of the final photo will be 7" x 5". The Docutech Series of printers have 106 lpi. Armed with this information the equation becomes:

dpi_to_scan_at = (1.5) x (106) x (2.5)
dpi_to_scan_at = 397.5

Once you have scanned the image at this resolution, you can promptly DISCARD some of the images information by resampling/resizing the image with your image software. Anywhere from 150 - 300 dpi.

The Docutech Series of printers support 600 dpi. You are welcome to scan at this dpi. It now becomes a question of filesize.

2. Should I scan my photos in color?

Yes, if you plan to print them in color; otherwise no. The color information is completely ignored by the Docutech Series of printers. Scan your photos as B&W Photos or Grayscale. This reduces the filesize of your photos by 2/3.

3. What file format should I use to bring my document to you?

Short Answer: Postscript (PS) or Hewlett Packard Laser Jet PCL5e.
Long Answer: Printers are not the same. A document formatted for a deskjet won't print properly on a laser jet and vice versa. A document that is PS or PCL5e compatible WILL print the document exactly the same on any printer that is capable of printing PS or PCL5e. Windows 9x and NT4/2000 all come with printer drivers you can install on your computer that will produce PS or PCL5e files. For PS, try the Apple Laserwriter 600 Pro. For PCL5e, try HP LaserJet 5. Postscript is the suggested method of producing your document.

NOTE: Unfortunately, HP never built compatibility into their page description language. In other words, PCL3 will not print on a PCL5 printer. The only compatibility that I have seen in the PCL family of stardards will be PCL6. It is said to be backwards compatible with PCL5 and PCL5e. I have never tried it.

4. My history is on more than one disk. Is that okay?

Yes.

5. Can you do page numbering, or must I do it myself?

Short Answer: Yes.
Long Answer: We use what is known as the Xerox Production Path. It is a name that describes the process of getting a document from you, to printing it, to giving it back to you. Part of this path includes a program called DigiPath. This program is used to import your native PS / PDF / TIF files. Once they are imported, DigiPath has a page numbering capability that will do numbering in roman (i. ii. iii. etc.. I. II. III.etc...) or normal (1. 2. 3. etc..). DigiPath allows us to change the style of page numbering with in the book, but it will not let us have different positions for page numbers with in sections of a book. For instance, if you want page numbers on the non-binding edge of the page in the lower right corner, ALL page numbers will be in that position. You can have mixed roman / normal numbers within sections.

6. How do I get my files to you? They are huge!

Any number of solutions:

  1. CD ROM - Burn the file to as many CDs as it takes and bring it in.
  2. ZIP Disks - We support Mac/PC ZIP at 100MB and 250MB.
  3. Floppy - If the file is small enough, bring it in on a floppy.

Alternative Options:

There is a free program on the web known as WinZip. Use its DISK SPANNING feature to create files in whatever size you tell it to. It will break your larger document into as many files as needed. Copy them to a floppy and bring it to us. WinZip is then used to paste the whole document back together. This is a very stable, easy, and inexpensive way to get your files to us.

Note: If your document contains pictures and is larger than 20MB, a CD Writer or ZIP Drive might be advisable.

7. Should I use Microsoft Word or Word Perfect?

Since files will be submitted in PS or PCL5e format, any program you can use to produce these types of files is completely acceptable. On windows, most all type-setting and image programs have access to your printers. Install a PS or PCL5e compatible printer.

8. Do I need to do my own margin shifting for binding?

Short Answer: It doesn't matter.
Long Answer: MS Word and WordPerfect both have a PageSetup or Printing feature known as Book. Both allow you to set the margin width of the binding edge. Since this edge alternates from one side of the page to the other, this is a nice way to set it up.

Alternatively, you can create your document with normal margins and ignore the binding edge problem. Once it is imported into the software we use for printing, we can quickly add the binding margin to your whole document.

9. Why does my picture look awful when it is printed? It looks okay on my screen.

Short Answer: Never trust your computer screen.
Long Answer: Your computer screen shows 72 dots per inch. Printers print at 600 dots per inch. If you reduce your images to anything around 72 dots per inch they will look fine on your computer screen. They will, however, look awful when printed. Scan your photos at 150 - 300 dpi.

10. What margins should I use?

Anywhere from 1" to 1½" on the binding edge. Otherwise, it is completely up to you. An acceptible margin setting would be: 1½" on the binding edge. 1" on the non-binding, top and bottom edges. Try not to go smaller than ¾" on the top and bottom margins.

 

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