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Printing to Scale - Resizing Canvas to "fit" page size


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Hi all,

 

I've read the various printing to scale questions and have not yet found a satisfactory answer to my (and others') problem. It seems the missing bit of info is regarding canvas size vs paper size and printer margins. I'm hoping the experts here can help set us straight.

 

Q: How can I create an image from scratch, with defined measurements, that will print exactly to those measurements? I.e. How do I print a 5" line created with Paint.NET?

 

Most of the advice regarding printing to a certain size (specifically here and here) talk about DPI settings and monitors, but I think the questions are being misinterpretted by those trying to help. The advisors seem to infer that the person asking the question is trying to print an image that is the same size what they see on their monitor. That is not my question at all. Who even wants to do this? Print at 96 dpi... yuck! So please allow me to explain further.

 

The question is NOT:

How do I print something that appears 5" tall on my 27" screen resolved at 96 dpi?

 

The question is:

How do I print something that I've created and specified to be exactly 5" long? This is regardless of how it's displayed at any resolution.

 

Let's say I know my printer can print at 300 dpi. I can start with a blank 2000x2000 pixel canvas, working at 300 dpi, and draw a 1500 pixel line. That should print out at 5" right? Nope. First attempt comes out ~7.9" long (and rotated, but that's a different problem for another day). Hmm...

 

Oh I see. It must be Windows' built-in printer dialog that scales the entire canvas to fit the paper size. There's even that pesky "fit to frame" option that doesn't tell me what scaling it's using. Okay, so the obvious answer is to just resize the canvas to be the same size as my paper - in my case I'll use an 8.5 x 11" canvas (or start with 2550 x 3300 pixel blank canvas). That should work! Nope. Now the line prints out ~4.85" long. I think Windows is still resizing the image to fit the page. I'm guessing that this is to account for some inherent printer margins, but I'm not sure.

 

So now back to the original question. How do I print a 5" long line?

SS1.png

SS2.png

SS3.png

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You need to understand the relationship between monitor and printer. They each have a resolution and these must be in synch to get an accurately sized output.

 

Have you seen this plugin Print It? It has additional options which should enable you to match the image size to the printer settings to get an appropriately sized printout.

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18 hours ago, Ego Eram Reputo said:

You need to understand the relationship between monitor and printer. They each have a resolution and these must be in synch to get an accurately sized output.

 

Have you seen this plugin Print It? It has additional options which should enable you to match the image size to the printer settings to get an appropriately sized printout.

Does this plugin actually work on pdn now ? In another post Rick mentions that OptionBasedLibrary.dll's should not go in the pdn root folder, but the instructions on installing state the opposite. 

 

Installation

- Copy the two files OptionBasedLibrary vX.X.dll/.dlc to the Paint.NET\ folder (NOT to Paint.NET\Effects\ !!!)
- Copy the two files PrintIt.Effect.dll/.dlc to the Paint.NET\Effects\ folder
- Do not remove older versions of the OptionBasedLibrary if they are required from other plugins.

HFuQlot.png

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, mottoman said:

- Copy the two files OptionBasedLibrary vX.X.dll/.dlc to the Paint.NET\ folder (NOT to Paint.NET\Effects\ !!!)

This is bad advice (regardless of the author's instructions). It's better to place all the files in the Effects folder.

 

 

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Thanks for the reply!

 

I just downloaded and tried the plugin you suggested, but it's not working very well - keeps hanging on me. Maybe I installed it wrong or soemthing; I'll keep trying. I also tried using Printer+ by Simon Brown, which helps with the page setup (interface between Windows and the printer), but it's still not 100% transparent to me how to get the file to scale properly.

 

Question for you: why do you say I need to understand the relationship between monitor and printer? Isn't the monitor's resolution completely irrelevant to the question? What am I missing here? I just want 1500 pixels to be printed at 300 dpi (for a 5" line), not scaled by a random calculation somehwhere in between the file on my computer and the printer.

 

In my last attempt, a 4.5" line was printed as 4.75" so the scale is 105.5%. Very strange.

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12 hours ago, canadabeau said:

In my last attempt, a 4.5" line was printed as 4.75" so the scale is 105.5%. Very strange.

 

That's why EER said, you have to understand the relationship. DOTS per inch (dpi, printer) and PIXELS per inch (ppi, Display) are NOT the same - and moreover - aren't the same from printer to printer and from display to display.

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10 hours ago, IRON67 said:

That's why EER said, you have to understand the relationship. DOTS per inch (dpi, printer) and PIXELS per inch (ppi, Display) are NOT the same - and moreover - aren't the same from printer to printer and from display to display.

 

Ahhhh, that's the key. That's what I was missing. Thank you!

 

I had assumed up to now that a pixel was the same as a dot. Therefore, I thought as long as I knew the printer's resolution (300 dpi), then I simply needed to create an image using the same resolution and it would scale 1:1.

 

Okay so this just became a LOT more difficult to do what I want. I'm going to have to fiddle more with that printer plugin to see if it will help me.

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