Question about MGI Software PhotoSuite SE V4.0

2 Answers

Need to get scanned photos to between 300 and 600 dpi

Hello:

I am trying to put pictures into a book for publication. The pictures I upload must be between 300 dpi and 400 dpi and in .jpeg format. I have MGI PhotoSuite II SE and my scanner is a Visioneer One Touch 8100. The pictures I am using are printed and centered on 8.5x11 sheets. I did the following 4 things with one of my pictures: 1) pre-cropped and then scanned in at 600 dpi; 2) scanned in as an 8.5x11 at 600 dpi; 3)pre-cropped and then scanned in at 100 dpi; 4) scanned in as an 8.5x11 at 100 dpi. I saved each one to my desktop for comparison. The problem is, when I check the properties on them, they all say 96 dpi.
No.1) width = 1874 pixels; height = 2473 pixels; both horizontal and vertical resolution = 96 dpi
No. 2) width = 1919 pixels; height = 2505 pixels; both horizontal and vertical resolution = 96 dpi
No. 3) width = 311 pixels; height = 415 pixels; both horizontal and vertical resolution = 96 dpi
No. 4) width = 317 pixels; height = 423 pixels; both horizontal and vertical resolution = 96 dpi

How can this be? How do I get them into the 300 to 400 dpi range that is required? The first two (1 & 2) which were scanned at 600 dpi are quite large (covering nearly the entire page) when I insert them into a word document, making me assume that when I size them down to the original size that they should then be at about 600 dpi. The second two (3 & 4) which were scanned at 100 dpi are about their original size (approx. 3x4) when I insert them into a word document, enforcing my belief that the larger ones are becoming a much higher dpi when sized back down to their original size. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are scanned into PhotoSuite pre-cropped or at the 8.5x11 size and then cropped in PhotoSuite before I save them. They still come out the same sizes respectively when I insert them into a word document. Please let me know if I am correct, that the dpi goes back up when I size them down.

My problem then becomes trying to figure out what dpi to scan them at in accordance to the size of the finished product I want. Is there any way to know what the dpi actually is once they are in the word document? And, is there any comparison chart that you could send me or point me toward to download that will give me these sizing stats. I need to know that each picture, and they are of many sizes and shapes, will all ultimately be in the 300 to 600 dpi range for the publisher.
Also, a few of the pictures take up nearly the whole 8.5x11 page--so how can I get them to at least 300 dpi? Maybe I am reading this wrong and I should be multiplying the height and width dpi, in which case the dpi would be extremely high however. Please clear this up for me.
Thank you for your time and patients in reading this, but I didn’t know how to explain it in any shorter form and still get my point across of what I am up against.

Sincerely,

Sandra Hookham

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  • 4 more comments 
  • 53hookham Jan 22, 2009

    Thanks for the input; however, I am a writer and do not have the foggiest idea of what you mean by "raster images." All I know is that the publishing house wants me to upload either a word document or a PDF file and that the pictures need to be between 300 and 600 dpi and that they are to be inserted in the document and ready for printing. You sound like you know quite a bit about all of this stuff and if it is okay--it would be much simpler for me--you could e-mail me directly at 53hookham@centurytel.net

    I will find out from the publisher if they will accept a microsoft publisher document, but I doubt it. They were very specific on what they wanted.

    Another problem I have is how to embed my fonts in the program I have: PDFCreator. If I upload as a word document to them, they want me to use one of their templates (according to the size of the finished book I want), and I have already discovered that their template will change how my pages are numbered and probably a few other things--so I would prefer to upload it as a PDF file and ready for publishing. Their instructions on this are for the Acrobat PDF conversion and my PDFCreator doesn't seem to give me the option of embedding fonts. I am hoping it is there, but that since it is different, I just haven't found it yet.

    I sure do need someone's help here, and it sounds like you might have the answers I am looking for.

    Thanks in advance,

    Sandra Hookham

  • 53hookham Jan 22, 2009

    I have Word 2003, with Windows XP. If I can create a PDF directly from this and embed the fonts, I would sure like to know--that would solve part of my headaces. They did warn--somewhere in the dozens of pages I have read over the past few days--to be sure that the fonts were not embedded twice, or this would also be a problem.

    This book is going to be published through www.Lulu.com and I'm afraid they are not very good at helping anyone. Each time I e-mail them, it takes a couple of days to get a very brief answer. This is not going to be a picture book per se, but simply a hardcover with full color pictures. However, the only place I could find out much about how the pictures should be, was to click on the specs for the picture book section. It would probably be a lot faster for both of us if I could get you to just go to their website and look at what they want. You will undoubtedly understand it much better than I do. Maybe then, you can tell me exactly what I should--or should not--be doing to get this right and have it print out properly.

    I realize this is time consuming on your part, but I am at wit's end and would be eternally grateful if you could hold my hand through this mess.

    Thanks again,

    Sandra Hookham

  • 53hookham Jan 22, 2009

    Jason:

    With a local printer, I have to buy the ISBN number and bar code myself (runs a little over $100 all together), this is free through Lulu as long as their logo goes on the book and not mine--otherwise, they charge $99. PLUS, with a local printer, I would have to order a set number of books, pay for them, peddle them, ship them, etc. With Lulu there aren't any up-front costs: it is print on demand; I set my own price; they take their production cost plus 20% of the profits; I get paid on a monthly basis for any sales through my private Pay Pal account; they take care of library identification and other types of free advertising as well as shipping directly to the customer. I can at any time, order a large number of books and pay for them at production cost if I want to sell a batch myself--and the list of benefits keeps going on. They even keep track of sales records and send them to me each month, all for that original 20%--and, they produce the books cheaper than a local printer.

    Before I send out the file, I would like to know where you are located and who I am sending it to. It has been copyrighted, but I don't want to send it out blindly. I have it on CD, but the pictures were put in .gif format and I need to redo a couple of them at least in the .jpeg format for you to see what is going on. If you can help me through this, I will be happy to pay you for your time and trouble as soon as I start seeing some profits. I would also be willing to pay on an ongoing basis if you were to help me with internet advertising. I know there are lots of freebie places to get this book publicized, but I am new to this aspect of everything. As they say 50% of something is worth a lot more than 100% of nothing!

    Also, I don't think I made it very clear before that even before I insert them into a word document they are showing up to be at only 96 dpi. In oher words, as soon as I save them to my desktop or whatever folder--when I click on properties and go in and check, they are already at 96 dpi. I just got off the phone with our local computer teacher at the high school and he pointed out that there should be somewhere in MGI PhotoSuite where I can make sure it is not compressing them--something about a scale going from 1 to 10--but I can't seem to find it. Maybe my program doesn't give me that option; I don't know.

    I will check out the rest of your suggestion later, but I have to get my horses fed before it gets dark. Speaking of which, I have a website which I worked on last winter: www.weeklyrhymes.com

    My horses and a lot of other stuff is on there, but I found out after I built it that I should have put things in "frames" so they would be spaced the same on all computers. It all looks perfect from where I sit, but not so for other people. I will worry about that problem when I get this one solved!

    If you decide to e-mail me directly, send it to 53hookham@centurytel.net NOT the thookham one on the website, because I don't check that one that often.

    Thanks again,

    Sandra Hookham

  • 53hookham Jan 23, 2009


    Hi Jason:



    I received this e-mail from Lulu help, and it presents me with a whole new set of problems since I don't know how I will get the pictures to the size I want before inserting them into the manuscript. For one thing, I have to decide on the size pretty much after they are in there to see where the lines are coming out on the page (how many I want in accordance with where the next picture or the end of the chapter may end up. I suppose I could ave two of each, pull one in, size it down, and then somehow figure out how to make the other one that exact size before replacing it. Anyway, here is the e-mail from Lulu:



    Dear Sandra,







    Hello there. I would ignore the scanner's functions / options on this, pplease do open the saved images in a graphics programme, and then check the DPI. It may also be to do with the pixels which are para to dimensions, and the resolution. The best way to avoid confusion is to save the dimensions in inches, then set the DPI / Res to 300. One thing to watch on this, do size the images in a graphics programme to only be the size of the space they will occupy. Don not say, use a 12 x 20 image and then squeeze it onto a 6 x 9 using the onscreen manual resizer, this does not work.



    On Text Boxes, if you use Word as the file, then, you can just add text to the page. If you really need to use Text Boxes, then we accept Word's own, but any others and then you would need the final file for uploading to be a PDF.



    Frames, etc, again Word's are ok, but not others from other sources, not just kept in Word anyway, but ok in PDF.



    If this is for the contents and you are filling the page, then, you need a PDF anyway, as this is needed for full bleed for images. First save the image to the book size plus 0.25 inches on the width and the height, ( so a 6 x 9 would be 6.25 by 9.25 ), and at 300 DPI. Then import them onto a PDF then also save the overall PDF to be at full bleed.



    On covers, then, they need to be PNG, JPG or GIF, saved again to the full bleed size, and at 300 DPI. UNless it is a one piece cover, if you want this, then you need a PDF.



    Yes, ensure you save the PDF as a flattened single layered file if PDF, there is no equivilent in Word, not as far as I know, anyway.



    Thank you



    The school district here sounded like they would probably let me scan the pictures and send them to you from there with their equipment. They have the InDesign software you were speaking of, but that is going to be a last resort if I can't get it done here somehow. I could then send you the manuscript with the pictures in it at the position and size I want in their .gif format and you could just replace them for me. Something for you to think about anyway. I had no idea that going this route was going to get so-o-o complicated!

    Let me know what you think,

    Thanks again,

    Sandra Hookham

  • 53hookham Jan 23, 2009

    Jason--

    This all sounds great, except that at this point, any scanned .jpeg photos I send you will already be at 96 dpi--because after playing around with my MGI PhotoSuite program, I have discovered that it is compressing all .jpeg files automatically; it will not let me change the settings for .jpeg and even though I put the picture quality setting at 10 (the highest it will go), it will not let me change the compression setting from "Yes" to "No." I did find it stated in the help section that this particular program does automatically compress some files (and you cannot change that) and obviously .jpeg is one of them. Therefore, I suppose I am going to have to find other software that will let me save a .jpeg file without compressing it, before I can go any further. Unless of course, I can save the retouched pictures in some other format that PhotoSuite does not automatically compress, and will still give really good photo color and quality, and send them to you that way. At any rate, when I checked the .gif files (that have never been in a word doc.), they are at 96 dpi (both horizontal and vertical) as well, so I have about two weeks of work in front of me to retouch all of these photos once I have a program that will not compress everything automatically.

    I have been doing a lot of reading, trying to wrap my brain around all of this and some of it is gradually becoming a little clearer. It still keeps running through my mind that logically, if a .jpeg photo is at 96 dpi and I import it into a word doc.--if I then resize it down to about one fourth of its original size it should then be somewhere near to a 400 dpi resolution. Is this right, or am I way off base here? After all, when I scanned a file at only 100 dpi and saved it, it was only a smidgen larger than the original when I imported it into my word document, yet when I scanned it at 400 dpi it was about four times larger when imported it into myword document. This also makes me think that this is the reason Lulu says the picture sizes cannot be changed once they are in the word document, because that would actually be changing the dpi. Do you know if this is the case? If so, I could get most of the photos in there the way I want them, but would they have to be at an exact 300, 400, or 500 dpi for them to print out properly, as opposed to odd numbers like say 367, 422, or maybe 581 dpi--basically all over the place, but within their 300 to 600 dpi range? If being in a scattered range like this really would not matter that much, then I could get the document all done the way I want it and just send it to you for transfer into a PDF file, where you could embed the fonts the way they want them for printing. God, I wish I could just discuss this with you over the phone, instead of all this typing back and forth! (608) 337-4690

    I checked out this web site a little more and have realized that for you to get paid by them for all of your troubles, I probably need to put in problem "solved" rather than just that you have "helped" me, but then I am thinking that will probably close our link to each other and I would have to enter another question and you would have to find it or I would be starting over with explaining all this to someone else. Let me know on this.

    Sandra Hookham

  • 53hookham Jan 23, 2009

    Jason:

    I didn't know if the last message went through or not. I am clicking "FixYa!"

    Also, I just got an e-mail from another print on demand site that I am going to check out. Maybe they will be easier to contact and deal with than Lulu--maybe even cheaper! If you have time at some point to look at their website, here it is: www.createspace.com Let me know what you think about them versus Lulu.

    Thanks again,

    Sandy

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What I saw first off is that although the resolution indicates 96 DPI, the file size itself between the 2 examples are drastically different. You are putting raster images into MS Word for publication work, and that is a NO NO. Word was not created for any kind of high resolution printing. It's a glorified text editor that people seem to think is an option for printing. YOU WILL NEVER GET 300 or 600 DPI images out of Word. Ever.
To create your project for printing, you need to use software more suited for the task. InDesign and Quark are examples, but they are very expensive. In my opinion, Publisher would be better for this kind of project and I hate myself for saying that.
Talk to your Printer, find out his specifications for Applications and Linescreen for Printing. The minimum requirement is 280 DPI, but if the image is placed at 100%, 600 DPI is overkill.
Oh, and try to never scan a scan... you are looking for trouble... a little thing called a Moiré pattern comes into play, and it will make you images print NASTY!
I could go on about your post all day long, but if there is anything else I didn't explain, please post again.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes Jan 22, 2009

    Sandra,


    You are not alone in your frustrations. I do not know why they would tell you to insert images at 600 DPI into a Word file when the application WILL and does resize them. To boot, they will be converted to RGB, which is not the preferrable color format for printing.


    If the publisher sent you a spec sheet, I would be interested in seeing it.


    Raster refers to pixels. The sqaures you see on your monitor that images are made of.


    What version of Word are you using? The current versions all have PDF export options built in.


    DCS

  • Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes Jan 22, 2009

    Aha, I see. They are an online Publishing company. Any reason you are not going through a local printer? Moot point, I suppose. Are you opposed to sending me your file to inspect? I would be happy to assist you in this project. 


    In your version of Word, is there a Save as, with an area to click a different format? Drag the menu to PDF and you should be good. It will "Subset" the font, which is ideal for this kind of work. Basically, it only embeds the characters from the font set used and nothing else. So, for example, if you only use the characters T, H, E of a certain font, ONLY those characters are embedded. Make sense?


    I need to see something. Let me know.


    Jason

  • Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes Jan 23, 2009

    Sandra,


    I do this kind of stuff for a living. I live and work in Oklahoma City. I have been doing it for close to 20 years. The reason Word is downsampling the images, is because Word is not capable of storing an image with a higher DPI. I may be wrong about this, but it would be a fairly current change from old Word. Word also does a lot of things that goes against the grain of quality printing. Like making the type RGB, changing resolution and color mode of images. It simply is not meant for what you are doing. BUT, people still do use it usually out of ignorance.


    To be honest, I have no interest in making any money or what the content of your files are. I just want to help you. Depending on the page count and amount of scans, I MIGHT be willing to do the legwork for you. Maybe a mention in your book.


    IF you decide to let me take a look... I will need your Word file, PLUS any images you have scanned. What I would do, is rebuild the file in a Page Layout application, place the images, fire you off a proof in PDF format, then once you approve, send it to Lulu. I can direct you on how to send the file to me, no matter the size IF you decide to get me involved. I usually charge A LOT of money for this, but you seem very overwhelmed and I think I can help you fairly easy.


    I have two kids, a stay at home wife and work about 60 hours a week. I work for one of the largest offset print shops in OKC. I do a lot of pro bono work for an online forum, similar to this, but specializing in printing, so you will not be the first person I have helped. I hope I am putting any misgivings you may have out the window... I am just like you, but work in printing.

  • Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes Jan 23, 2009

    I will call you when I get a chance. I am extremely busy today. You are correct about resizing. However, Word is still going to jack your files. We need to get these pictures scanned and cleaned, THEN worry about laying them out. I don't really think you should lay this out in Word, not if you want the BEST quality.


    We'll talk.

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Adobe Photo Shop will do the resolutions in the image size function. That is also where you will resize your picture to the size you want it in your book. It will greatly change the pixel size. I work with duplicates and save my original images. I have the full version of Adobe Photo Shop, not elements. They also offer Adobe Photo Shop Classroom in A Book which is an excellent reference book, better than those dummy books. Lulu wants you to put a text box where your image go and send your images separately in a zip file. The text box needs to be the size of the image. Input in the text box the name of the image file. Currently I am working on my book to publish with Lulu. The Fine Print written by Mark Levine is an excellent source for knowing which POD services to use. He rates Lulu as a good POD company, not the best but in the second best group. I don't know which package you purchased but if you purchaed the package that allows for phone calls I would place that phone call. Cute PDF is a free converter program but it will not convert a lot of pages. I use Adobe PDF software which is rather expensive. Adobe used to let people try their program one time for free in their website. Lulu was specific as to which font to use and what size font to use. Did they not specify to you? Times Roman size 12. You may have published your book by now since this is June and this thread began in January.

Posted on Jun 05, 2009

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