Are your background form images placed at 100% or have they been enlarged in Indesign?
They are placed at 100% of their original size.
The forms are letter size. They were scanned at their size of 8.5 inches by 11 inches. The InDesign document is also letter size. The form image is precisely the same size as the document pages to a perfect 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
OK then - in the View menu, is your Display Performance set to Typical Display or High Quality Display?
I have it set as High Quality Display by default for all the work I do.
My problem isn't with the way it is displaying on the screen but rather with the printed output. The image looks good on the screen but looks blurry or fuzzy on the printed page.
You said these are "forms." What, exactly does that mean? 300 PPI would be a suitable resolution for photographic images, but line art of type would need to be scanned at considerably higher resolution to output crisply.
How are you printing? What kind of printer? Is it going through a RIP? What happens if you save a PDF at High Quality Print export setting and then print from the PDF?
Hi, Peter Spier.
These are forms. By forms I mean forms that contain text with blank fields to be filled with data (written or printed). The forms contain primarily text and some line work if you think of the continued and dotted lines as such.
What resolution should be used for these forms to produce good quality printing ?
Hi, Theresa J.
I am printing the InDesign document using a HP Laserjet color laser printer. I am not sure if it is going to a RIP but I don't think it is. All I am using is a Mac and the printer itself without the benefit of an external hardware-based RIP, if this is what your are asking. I am relying on the Mac's OS and the printer software for the printing.
I haven't tried what you suggested but will do it tomorrow. However, shouldn't I be able to print a good quality document straight from InDesign ? I wonder if there is any setting related to printing that I must change.
For monochrome linework and text I would scan at 1200 ppi, for grayscale probably 600-800.
Is there a reason not to set these up as live type in ID?
Gotta find out where it is introducing the problems.
- If you open the scan in photoshop and zoom to 100% can you see the blur and ghost like artefacts? If so they are likely created by the scanner
- If you export the InDesign document as a high res PDF and zoom in do you see the the blur and ghost like artefacts? If so its got something to do with InDesign. Could a broken link or some sort of effect applied to the image
- If all these are functioning properly and they are still printing incorrectly then it could be something to do with the driver. Have a look through some of the printer driver settings to see if there is anything that may be causing it. Also try printing from the PDF. If printing from the PDF works it could be that there is an incompatibility with the file format and your printer. Try saving as another file format... PSD if your looking for the lossless of TIFF.
Several things to consider:
- In the Print dialog do you have it set to Send all Data rather than Optimized?
- If the scans are grayscale, are the white areas pure white? You may be picking up some paper texture and this may print as a light gray rather than pure white.
As Peter Spier mentioned, it is best to scan at a high resolution in Bitmap or Monochrome mode which makes everything either pure Black or pure White. Don't use Grayscale.
It may not look as nice on screen, but it will print better and the file size will be relatively small even at high resolution since it has only two values, either black or white, nothing in between..
- While your color printer should print a grayscale image correctly, make sure it is not printing everything in color. Use a loupe or magnifying glass to inspect the printout. There should be no color dots whatsoever in your prints.
I also agree with Peter than it is best to recreate the form in InDesign. You can use your scans as a template.
Place them on a separate layer. select the image and lower the opacity to about 40% or so, lock this template layer and create the text, form lines and boxes on different layers above the template layer.
Generally things don't need to line up perfectly as long as all the text and lines are there
You can turn off the template layer to compare the output, once the form is finished you should delete the template layer. You may start slow, but once you do a few you will get faster at this and you will have a completely editable form for the future in case you even need to changes some elements of the form.
Actually, when scanning lineart I often scan as grayscale at 1200 ppi, then adjust in Photoshop before converting to Bitmap mode. You get to do things like adjust threshold, levels, and curves, or sharpen, in Grayscale, which you cannot do with a 1-bit scan.
I just tried to edit my reply to add some more info and the forum software refused to accept the edits.
Depending on the form, if there is a lot of text, you make be able to OCR the scan and get live editable text without typing everything from scratch.
You may have OCR software bundled with your scanner, or if you have Acrobat Pro the OCR capability is available in the application.
Again, Peter is correct regarding features only available in grayscale mode before converting to Bitmap.
Personally, I always try to recreate the form, so for me at least, the scan is only an intermediate step.
Sorry about the editing -- as soon as anyone replies a post is no longer editable. On the other hand, a second post goes out to subscribers so they know there's something new. Edits are only seen by those who visit the web page.
Excellent points, by the way. And let me add a recommendation for Acrobat's OCR capability. I've generally found it easier and more accurate than OCR software bundled with my scanners.
Set your display performance to high quality. View>display performance
Display performance has nothing to do with print output, and the OP has already said it is set that way....
Thank you all for your help and answers.
Bo LeBeau and Peter Spier I am interested in trying what you recommended. I have versions 9 (9.5.5) and 10 (10.1.9) of Acrobat Pro. Can you provide more detailed instructions on how to scan the form using Acrobat and use the live editable text solution ?
Thank you again for your help.
What are the steps you are using now?
I've always run OCR on a previously scanned file (it's in the Document menu in version 9), but there appears to be an option to initiate the scan and run the OCR together direct from Acrobat in the same menu.
I am currently scanning the forms at 300 dpi and saving them as TIFF files. After that I create an InDesign document, add the one form to each page as layer one and lock this layer, last I add text on top of the form and place it on a second layer.
I haven't tried to use Acrobat at all for this process but would like to learn about what steps to take to use it and take advantage of the live type solution that was mentioned here.
Open Acrobat Pro and from the Document menu choose OCR