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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Does anyone have suggestions ? Xerox Postscript color laser, printing is fine and easy using Impressario (only buy Postscript printers !! makes life so much simpler) .... I've hunted a bit but only come across snippets here and there. The tools and methods must exist, since they used Indys for RIPs, but information seems sparse :(


Odd thing about pdf's ..... if I convert a ps file to a pdf using ps2pdf, the fonts come out sharp and clear in Irix. Also sharp and clear in Windows and when printed. But PhotoSnot doesn't like those pdf's, won't accept them as input. So if I use PhotoShit to convert from a postscript file, the fonts come out heavily blurred and washed out in Irix. Still look sort-of okay in Windows but don't print worth a crap. Wtf is the deal ?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:19 pm 
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hamei wrote:
if I convert a ps file to a pdf using ps2pdf, the fonts come out sharp and clear in Irix. Also sharp and clear in Windows and when printed. But PhotoSnot doesn't like those pdf's, won't accept them as input. So if I use PhotoShit to convert from a postscript file, the fonts come out heavily blurred and washed out in Irix. Still look sort-of okay in Windows but don't print worth a crap. Wtf is the deal ?

Unfortunately, I am nowhere near my machine with Photoshop 3.0.x for IRIX at the moment, but here are some questions that might lead down a useful path:

What version/platform of Photoshop are you using to try to open the ps2pdf-generated pdfs?
What version/platform of Photoshop are you using to convert the PostScript file? Are you trying to convert it into Photoshop format, PDF format, or something else?
Do you have the same fonts on the IRIX machine and the Windows machine? Are they the same versions of the fonts?
Are the fonts embedded in the PostScript file?
Are the fonts a newer version than are supported by Photoshop/PostScript on IRIX?
Are the PDF files a newer version of PDF than are supported by Photoshop on IRIX?
What programs are you using to print/look at the PDFs on IRIX and Windows?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:23 am 
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josehill wrote:
Unfortunately, I am nowhere near my machine with Photoshop 3.0.x for IRIX at the moment, but here are some questions that might lead down a useful path:

Sorry, I just kind of threw that out there because I was puzzling with it at the time .... here's a clearer definition :

Two person collaboration, one (alleged) person insists on using Word to do the layout. A lot of the graphics and basic text is done in Irix, then the (alleged) Assistant creates a document with both English and Chinese text using Word. This gets printed to a PostScript file.

Here's where it gets a bit tricky ... if it's a straight-thru document then ps2pdf does a fine job of converting to pdf. Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc etc great. Looks good in xpdf, looks good in Adobe Reader, prints great, all good.

However, if we are mish-mashing a few different older pdfs into a single multi-page pdf, PhotoSnot (CS2) is the easiest way I've found. You can rearrange and meddle with the individual components to your heart's content.

However ... PhotoSnot refuses to accept pdf's that were not created with PhotoSnotty as input. Bring in the PS files instead, turn the whole thing into a pdf, looks good on-screen in Windows. But the Chinese fonts look like crap in xpdf and print like crap, too. English doesn't look as bad but there is a discernible difference.

Quote:
Do you have the same fonts on the IRIX machine and the Windows machine? Are they the same versions of the fonts?
Are the fonts embedded in the PostScript file?


Ja, I'm thinking fonts, too. But ... it was my understanding that if you don't have the correct font available, then the pdf reader would substitue a different one. Not butcher, substitute. Maybe it wouldn't have the effect you want but it shouldn't be a washed-out blurred mess. It should just be different. And if the font is not availabe at all, you get little empty boxes. Been there, done that :( About embedding the fonts, probably not because with dbcs a single-page pdf would be about fifty megs.

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Are the PDF files a newer version of PDF than are supported by Photoshop on IRIX?

You know better than that :) Everything is set to MAX compatibility. And when I get the effing popup "Download our new FREE version !" I set off the shotgun in Adobe's general direction. Take that, you varmints ! get offa my lawn !
Quote:
What programs are you using to print/look at the PDFs on IRIX and Windows?

xpdf and Acrobate reader. The usual ....

I'll have to investigate more ... but it is kinda weird that ps2pdf would do a better job converting than PhotoSniot, isn't it ?

And we need a better page layout program, too. Word sucks for that. Framemaker is not so lovely either. Maybe have to go to the pirates' lair and see if there's a copy of Pagemaker around somewhere. Would be terrible to have to regress to Serif PagePlus for DOS running in SoftWindows ... weird, hunh ? You'd think these problems would have been sorted out by now. Instead, we're stuck with farking OpenOrifice. I tried that Artifact thing but it crashes every two minutes.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:58 am 
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hamei wrote:
However, if we are mish-mashing a few different older pdfs into a single multi-page pdf, PhotoSnot (CS2) is the easiest way I've found. You can rearrange and meddle with the individual components to your heart's content.

Look at pdftk. It's going to be a headache on IRIX, because it's written in Java. But it works pretty well (in Linux)

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:28 pm 
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jan-jaap wrote:
Look at pdftk. It's going to be a headache on IRIX, because it's written in Java. But it works pretty well (in Linux)

Thanks. I'll look into the other things pdflib can do as well ... or maybe just rearranging the ps files will turn out to be the easiest. We've just started doing our own printing, got tired of the creativity of the local print shops. These guys are good - if there is a way to screw it up, they'll find it ! :shock:


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:13 am 
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Sorry to digress yet another thread, but on the subject of PDF... Such an improvement over PS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6eaiBIQH8k

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:17 am 
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duck wrote:
Sorry to digress yet another thread, but on the subject of PDF... Such an improvement over PS:

Got that in a written version ? I'm not big on multimedia unless it involves sex.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:43 am 
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Well, google ("27c3 omg wtf pdf") turned up some related info about the presentation. http://blog.fireeye.com/research/2011/0 ... ement.html

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:46 am 
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duck wrote:
Well, google ("27c3 omg wtf pdf") turned up some related info about the presentation. http://blog.fireeye.com/research/2011/0 ... ement.html

A good lesson in what we're doing wrong ... http://printers-devil.com/notebook/pdfprintfiles.htm

For us, I think we'll skip pdf for printing and just use it for visual presentations to email. If I were really smart maybe I could learn to embed Trojans in our literature that would infiltrate unsuspecting victims and send all their bank info to us :)

Thanks for the reference. Interesting. The whole ps / pdf / printing thing is ... errr ... "interesting" :)


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:38 am 
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hamei wrote:
duck wrote:
Well, google ("27c3 omg wtf pdf") turned up some related info about the presentation. http://blog.fireeye.com/research/2011/0 ... ement.html

A good lesson in what we're doing wrong ... http://printers-devil.com/notebook/pdfprintfiles.htm

For us, I think we'll skip pdf for printing and just use it for visual presentations to email. If I were really smart maybe I could learn to embed Trojans in our literature that would infiltrate unsuspecting victims and send all their bank info to us :)

Thanks for the reference. Interesting. The whole ps / pdf / printing thing is ... errr ... "interesting" :)


Thank you for the interesting article from the printing trenches... I don't have much contact with this stuff other than printing bills for my tiny consulting firm. By a strange coincidence, however, I do it just like that. Groff (yes!) to PS to printer, PS to PDF to preview (this being largely because later versions of IRIX has that nasty GNU PS viewer whatsitsname).

I would recommed finding a way to see the video though, she's not very good at presenting it but the info is rather... intersting :-)

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:37 am 
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duck wrote:
I don't have much contact with this stuff other than printing bills for my tiny consulting firm.

I didn't, either ... in the US you can go to a printer and get your printing done. They are generally good and cheap and know their stuff.

Here in China, alas, if you want anything done well you have to do it yourself. Printing in particular ... you would not believe the clever tricks the print shops have here for screwing up your stuff. Every time you think you have every possibility covered, they come up with some new way to create disaster :shock:

Quote:
By a strange coincidence, however, I do it just like that. Groff (yes!) to PS to printer, PS to PDF to preview (this being largely because later versions of IRIX has that nasty GNU PS viewer whatsitsname).

I got the original PS Viewer working again by back-installing DPS but it's still not so great. And the couple of other PS viewers I found didn't do any better ... xpdf works very well for pdf's tho. One interesting thing is that xpdf will view ai files directly. Perhaps those are straight postscript files, and xpdf could also view ps files ? Will have to try ... nope. Just tried. Oh well.

Anyway, conclusion for us is, save the postscript files for future use as well as the pdf. Pdf is convenient for viewing but there's LOTS more tools for dealing with PS. And the end result is better (at least in our case.) I'm still kind of surprised by how poorly PhotoShop deals with these files. Weird.

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I would recommed finding a way to see the video though, she's not very good at presenting it but the info is rather... interesting :-)

Has she got attractive bazoombas ? Otherwise I better spend my time working on color correction :)

Next task, finding a decent page layout app. Off to the pirate software store, I guess. Probably easier than hunting through the boxes and boxes of software I have in the closet :P Anybody use Scribus ? Unless it's pretty nice I'm not going to waste time fighting it.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:52 am 
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Adobe Illustrator files up through AI8 are indeed PostScript (you can edit them with a text editor). The special magic for Illustrator is contained in comments.
Font substitution never really works right because the metrics for the fonts won't match, so they won't display as the file creator anticipated. PDF can embed fonts, which solves that problem. BUT if you convert the problem text to outlines then the PS file will be immune to font issues. I always did this when sending print jobs to service bureaus

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:48 pm 
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duck wrote:
...she's not very good at presenting it...
Knowing as much as she does about pdf has obviously addled her brain... :shock:

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:56 pm 
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robespierre wrote:
Adobe Illustrator files up through AI8 are indeed PostScript (you can edit them with a text editor).

That's interesting .... you can view them in xpdf, but you can't view straight postscript files in xpdf. So there's also something else going on, too ... more inwestigation needed, maybe.

Quote:
Font substitution never really works right because the metrics for the fonts won't match, so they won't display as the file creator anticipated.

I think you are right but why that is an issue here puzzles me. Document created in Word on Windows box. Print to PostScript file. PS file displays okay on Windows and Irix both. Convert to pdf using Ghostscript on Irix (remotely, actually) and pdf looks good on both Windows and Irix. Now, try to combine with some other pdf files, PhotoSnotty refuses to combine pdf's not made by Adobe so open the pdf in PhotoSnot and save. That creates the pdf as a PhotoSnot pdf. Now it suddenly looks like crap on Irix. Still looks okay on Wind0ws but if you look close, not as sharp. It also looks like poop when you print.

I am not sure why there would be any font substitution going on anyhow ? Unless Ghostscript is substituting a different font and doing a good job, then when it goes back to PShop, Adobe decides to substitute a different one and does a bad job ?

Quote:
PDF can embed fonts, which solves that problem.

Yes. But if you use three dbcs fonts and one or two roman letter fonts, you've suddenly got a 50 megabyte single page. Not acceptable :)

This entire font thing is kind of messy, imo. There must be fifty fonts installed on each machine, out of which I bet we use five. Most of them should go into the garbage ... some really yucky stuff gets installed by default.

Quote:
BUT if you convert the problem text to outlines then the PS file will be immune to font issues. I always did this when sending print jobs to service bureaus

Have done this. It's not as nice as actually using the fonts but if you aren't certain that your recipient will have Chinese installed, the only safe way is to convert the entire page to a graphical format and use it as a picture. I've even printed and scanned a page to get there because occasionally that gives the clearest results ...

thanks for your input !


Okay le, problem is a mistake on my part. A wrapup in case anyone in the future struggles with this issue :

Problem is, we use several apps on two operating systems to create documents. Framemaker, Nedit, two versions of PhotoShop and Illustrator on two operating systems, Amazon Paint, Showcase, imgview, Word, Pro/e, you name it. As anyone who has tried it knows, moving anything back and forth is a bitch. Even on one platform with one supplier (hi Adobe !) lots of times pieces will not translate correctly.

If you stick to one application per page, this works good : print each page to a separate PostScript file. Then you can do a cover in Illustrator, mess with your graphics in PShop or whatever, use Framemaker for the body, make your back cover in Illustrator from the other o.s., use whatever tool that is most convenient. It's not perfect because sometimes you'd like to just drop an Illustrator graphic into Framemaker without losing the vector resizing ability but it's livable.

What I was doing wrong is, at this point I'd convert to pdf and save the pdf. Hey, "portable document format" right ? And it's fast and easy to look at a pdf, has all the advantages of a postscript file for printing, and so on ? pdf is the modern ! way to do things ! Much more convenient !

Apparently not. I was trying to manipulate pdf's in PhotoShop (it's convenient) but PhotoShop CS2 butchers them in the process. Correct approach is to save a pdf for viewing and also save the Postscript file. Postscript is a language, it has all the commands necessary to arrange the pages in whatever order, size and orientation you need. When finishing up the document create a multi-page Postscript file using Postscript commands first, then use Ghostscript ps2pdf to create the final pdf if you need one for viewing.

Viola, cello, and double bass, Bob's yer uncle. Nice clean sharp pdf just the way grandma ordered. For printing, skip the last step and print direct from the Postscript file.

This process does make me wonder what good Word and Open Orfice are ... to be blunt, they are both crap for any kind of page layout. Get everything just the way you want (well, that's actually impossible. You can't make Word do exactly what you want. You are lucky to get close) then notice a spelling mistake or change a word. Poof ! There goes your page, half the graphics just went three pages down and everything else is spread all over the floor. If you are lucky you can back up a step or two and get it back ... but even that doesn't always work. So if Word (and to be fair Open Orfice is exactly the same or maybe even worse) is not good at page layout and we all know it's stupidly complex for simple text documents, what the hell is the point ? If Nedit is much more suitable for a letter to Mom and InDesign or Pagemaker or Scribus (have to try all three) should be the correct app for doing print work, where does Word/OO fit in ? Too clunky for one, can't do the other, seems like a fish in a balloon to me.

Anyway, now to work on color correction in Irix .....

afterthought : In a way, it's kind of sad that you get better quality and probably less work by using a 19th century letterpress for this task ... labor-saving, unh-hunh.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:43 pm 
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A little update for anyone who struggles with irix printing (both of us ?) ...

Some useful info on data compression in pdf's - maybe doesn't affect roman fonts so much ? but chinese characters get butchered by compression :

http://electron.mit.edu/~gsteele/pdf/

Also, using an early InDesign (v2 has not so much crap in it, we're not creating eBooks for online publishing) gives much better control of placement of text and images. Let's see if I can remove Word from the Assist's computer without losing the family jewels :) Open Orifice is exactly what it sounds like.

Working with the postscript files rather than pdf's is a big positive also. Then pdf them at the end if necessary. I'm not sure why the big push to pdf ? PostScript is a lot more versatile and doesn't butcher your stuff as an intermediate step. It's like working with tiff's, then jpegging at the end rather than going to jpeg right off.


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