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    Re: Printing time and ink: pdf vs jpg
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2013 Apr 26, 15:08 -0400

    On 4/26/2013 5:05 AM, Antoine Couëtte wrote:
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    large snip
    > As a Conclusion - and even if the .jpg documents show a lot of
    > advantages as a some of you have very kindly explained here - I am just
    > raising the attention of my NavList Fellows who scan and print documents
    > : saving them under the .pdf format can be the best choice given the
    > default settings of your addressees' Printers.
    
      "...given the default settings..."
    
    Here you have hit the nail on the head. I have been doing print graphics
    (most of which goes to press) and 200+ page PDF's for the net  since the
    inception of computer graphics. Web sites as well as. Unlike much of the
    subject matter in the discussion group, here I *may* not be the dumbest
    person in the room :-)
    
    First a PDF is an almost universally readable version packaged from an
    Encapsulated PostScript file (EPS). Adobe PostScript being the
    vector-graphics mathematical description language. Unlike bit-mapped
    files (BMP, TIFF, JPG, GIF or PNG) it is scalable without loss of
    resolution and handles the PostScript elements (which would include
    text) in a very efficient manner.
    
    I have dedicated scanners and printers, including a PostScript printer.
    I also have a multi-use unit (print, fax, copy, scan) for day-to-day
    use. With a digital camera (shooting in RAW mode, dedicated scanner,
    Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, InDesign, Adobe professional PDF software
    etc. the ability to control the end product is almost limitless.
    
    With a consumer program's built-in PDF generator and the multi-use
    unit's scanner limitations the ability to precisely control input and
    PDF output is limited.  Without going to extremes, I may have radio
    buttons for bit-mapped scan quality, and a choice of screen or print
    versions for PDF's from the program generating the PDF (the former being
    smaller as it most likely downsamples higher resolution images to 72
    pixels per inch.)
    
    As the resolution and physical dimensions of a bit-mapped image will
    directly correlate to the size of the PDF file, a professional will
    "message" bit-mapped images for the best mix of size vs. quality for the
    intended use. (Perhaps 300 ppi for print and 72 ppi for screen display.)
    You may often notice that when printing a downloaded user guide, the bit
    mapped graphics which were OK on screen are a jagged mess IMHO when printed.
    
    As a sanity check, make two images of the same scene with your digital
    camera. One with the lowest quality setting, and the other with the
    highest quality setting.  Insert (in two identical documents) the high
    quality JPG in one and the low quality JPG in the other and scale them
    in each document so they have identical dimensions. Distill these to
    identical quality PDFs (Print-quality option). Also distill the document
    without inserting the bitmapped image. Now look at the file size.
    
    On the printing side of the equation a multi-use inkjet unit will
    probably have radio buttons for print quality. Something like "High
    quality", "Standard", " Fast", and "Economy" (ink saver). If output
    isn't critical use the lowest setting that meets you needs to increase
    speed and reduce ink usage.
    
    With the possible exception of a PostScript printer (laser or ink-jet
    with PostScript software), all things being equal, expect a document
    which has been scanned and is all bitmapped (including text) to print
    slower than a PostScript PDF file that has the fonts and page layout
    described in an efficient and scalable vector-graphics PostScript PDF.
    Or not!
    
    For extra credit: A JPG (and MPEG) is lossy compression. It can be made
    to render a photographic quality output and is smaller than a TIFF etc.
    On the downside every time you save a JPG from a JPG the image quality
    deteriorates. So editing a native JPEG file is not the optimal workflow.
    
    GIF and PNG are lossless compression, but with color limitations others
    have pointed out. Both have the benefit of being able to generate
    transparent areas. GIFs can be animated. PNG came about when the people
    that developed GIF and owned the rights were saber rattling (1995 if
    memory serves) about charging fees for its use. The digital powers that
    be developed free-use PNG. Being lossless one can save and re-save
    without image degradation.
    
    With the appropriate professional imaging software, adaptive or custom
    palates, dithering etc. PNG--and to some extent GIF--could create
    photographic/continuous tone images that rivaled JPG on a computer
    monitor. The down sides being it is a mildly-painful exercise. Worse yet
    the file sizes are huge--much larger than a JPGs. Unless you cannot live
    without transparency or are hell bent to animate the images, a fruitless
    pursuit. Of course Flash and Shockwave came along for animation, but
    Apple developed a burr under their saddle about supporting them on their
    devices.
    
    There are also Scalable Vector Graphics for the web, but I'm already way
    off topic.
    
    Hope that helps clear up some of the confusion.
    
    Bill B
    
    
    
    
    
    

       
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