Single source / different images sizes

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Single source / different images sizes

Postby bho on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:19 pm

Hi all,

I have an image (not a screenshot, but a schematic created with MS Visio and exported to PNG) that I want to include in a Flare project. For online output I would like it to be something like 600 pixels wide, and for printed output about 6 inches @ 300 dpi = 1800 pixels wide. Can that be done with a single source file?

The only parameter that I can set differently between between online and print output is dpi, but that does not change the image size in online output (anyway, the dpi value is kind of irrelevant for online output, since a browser will always display one image pixel per screen pixel unless you tell it to rescale, ie it doesn't care about dpi). The scale factor seems to affect both kinds of output the same way (really downscaling the number of pixels).

Unless I am missing something, I then don't understand what the point of the single-source imaging claims is. I can just set the dpi value to one appropriate for print output, and the online output will disregard the dpi setting and just display the image as big as it is (in pixels).

Any ideas? Thanks,
Benjamin
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby doc_guy on Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:09 am

Benjamin,

Welcome to the MadCap forums. You've hit on one of my biggest complaints about Capture: you can't provide images of different sizes for different outputs. You have two choices: (1) pick an image size that works for both online and printed output; or (2) conditionally including two versions of the images.

I decided to go with the first option. I think this is a huge limitation in Capture, and I've submitted a bug report/enhancement request about this; I suggest you do the same (as MadCap seems to put more weight behind requests that come from multiple people). Capture's bug reporting system is located here.

There is image single sourcing as you can publish files in PNG format for printed output, but re-process them to be in JPG format for online output, but that isn't as useful as being able to set image size for separate outputs.

When you see other ideas you'd like implemented in Capture, fill out the enhancement request linked above.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby SteveS on Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:28 pm

The only way I can think of doing what you describe is to have 2 images, your online version (600 wide) and printed (1800 wide). When you insert the images use a screen only conditional tag for the online and print only tag for the printed image.

Make sure you set the exclude print only conditions from your online targets and exclude the screen only condition from your printed targets.

HTH
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby tomjohnson1492 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:55 pm

I want this feature too. Just putting my voice in here.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby forfear on Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:28 pm

Same here mr Tom Johnson. I've been tooling around and I know this for a fact now after much frustration..

DPI is for print.
Pixels Resolution is for Screen Output.

In PNG, if the metadata is set at 96 dpi (no correlation with Pixel Resolution), the image will be sized accordingly when you generate print output in Word. So the image may be bigger or smaller in Word then it is in HTML Help Output.

Is there any way to set the dpi meta data in a file...i am currently running

pngcrusher to batch process my PNG images in a folder.

I am gravitating to a dpi of 150 dpi for my images i think.. Remember changing the dpi metadata does not in anyway affect the resolution in screen output.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby RamonS on Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:47 am

Uhm, many of us are less blessed and live in the PC world. Did you come across a tool that does the same task on a Windoze system?
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby SteveS on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:48 pm

tomjohnson1492 wrote:I want this feature too. Just putting my voice in here.


Although Madcap support actively monitor these forums, you should enter bugs and enhancements at: http://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx
:madcap:
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby forfear on Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:29 am

RamonS wrote:Uhm, many of us are less blessed and live in the PC world. Did you come across a tool that does the same task on a Windoze system?


Apologies. this be what ya be lookin for

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pngcrush

See this for actual day to day application in a highly productive batch processing environs
http://www.neilturner.me.uk/2005/Feb/05 ... mages.html
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby forfear on Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:32 am

Another point to note...
the ever useful Flare help system has an article on DPI for Single-Sourcing images (topic of the same title)
or search for DPI, and you'll hit it.

You'll need Capture unfortunately. :cry:
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby RamonS on Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:42 am

Thank you very much...too bad that I don't have enough time right now to start playing with it.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby doc_guy on Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:45 am

forfear wrote:Another point to note...
the ever useful Flare help system has an article on DPI for Single-Sourcing images (topic of the same title)
or search for DPI, and you'll hit it.

You'll need Capture unfortunately. :cry:


Yeah, well, it sure doesn't work like I expect it to.

When you increase the DPI settings on the Printed Output tab, all that effectually happens is the image gets smaller in your printed output. The thing is, I already make my image smaller for use in my online output. Then modifying the DPI settings makes that smaller image even smaller.

Say I take my screen capture of the full screen. To use this in my online help, I've got to reduce the image size by 50% or more to even get the image to fit in the topic and look decent. Now if I try to put that image in my printed docs, I want a higher resolution, so I change the printed output tab to have a resolution of 300 dpi. Capture takes the 50% size image, and modifies the resolution of THAT so, the printed image is about 30% of the size of the WebHelp image.

Why can't Capture take the original image and modify the resolution of that? Why can't I change image size settings for printed output independent of web output? Why when I change the resolution of the image for printed output doesnt' the preview show how small the image is actually going to look in my printed guide?

So, yeah, instructions are there. But it still doesn't work well. I can't use it for what I'm doing. Unless I'm doing it wrong, but I've brought up these issues before and nobody has ever corrected me.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby Netta on Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:56 am

Time has moved on but seems that Capture hasn't. I'm still having the same frustrations described above.

Has anyone come up with a better way to do this since doc_guy's last post?

I've just requested this as an enhancement too as I can't see the point of Capture's claim of single-sourcing images if it can't let you set both size AND dpi for web and print separately.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby doc_guy on Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:25 pm

I haven't found one yet. But I've got to soon. I'm getting complaints from all over regarding the quality of the images in my printed output. I've got to do something different from what I'm doing.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby forfear on Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:16 pm

A lot of screencapture programs let you edit the DPI of the images when you save it.

Again, DPI is not pixel resolution.

DPI is for print
Pixels is for what you see on a computer screen.

I've encountered an interesting workflow tip. You can use Snagit to batch process and set the DPI for all images in a specific folder, so this will affect only your images when they are generated for print. Screen output has absolutely ZERO affect.
Also I use SnagIT to automatically scale the to a specific width () e,g 420 px, and automatically set the height, so the ratio is equal...this has the advantage of ensuring your images are uniform in width and can be put in a table. The thing is, i don't need all my images to be equal in width, only some. I don't mind having other images/screenshots/diagrams appearing a little larger.

So, you can use SnagIT or even PhotoShop , to
* batch process all the images you have in a specific folder to a specific DPI,
i.e DPI 170 for all images in Tutorial folder, and DPI 96 DPI for all others.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby i-tietz on Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:28 am

Hi Benjamin,

bho wrote:I have an image (not a screenshot, but a schematic created with MS Visio and exported to PNG) that I want to include in a Flare project. For online output I would like it to be something like 600 pixels wide, and for printed output about 6 inches @ 300 dpi = 1800 pixels wide. Can that be done with a single source file?


I think: Yes it can!

If you work with different targets for print an online:
You fit in both pictures (i.e. the online and the print version) and assign conditions to both, e.g. "onlinepic" and "printpic".
In the target for print output you include "printpic" and exclude "onlinepic" ...
In the target for online output you include "onlinepic" and exclude "printpic" ...

If you want the online output be printed by the user including the high resolution pic:
I never tried, but this could work:
You assign a class to each sort of picture. And in the CSS in the "media:print" section you make the online pic invisible and the print pic visible using their classes. And vice versa in the "media:screen" section ... (or is it "media:online"? ...)
I cannot tell you which parameter of the classes you have to change for the in-/visibility setting, but maybe somebody else can?

Inge
Last edited by i-tietz on Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby Netta on Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:48 am

i-tietz wrote:I think: Yes it can!
You fit in both pictures (i.e. the online and the print version) and assign conditions to both, e.g. "onlinepic" and "printpic".
In the target for print output you include "printpic" and exclude "onlinepic" ...
In the target for online output you include "onlinepic" and exclude "printpic" ...


Hi Inge,

Please excuse me coz I'm about to have a little rant... worry ye not... it will be over soon....

I hear this conditional tagging thing all the time but I'd consider this as nothing more than a horribly clunky workaround. I don't want to have to go through this nonsense for every image in my document (of which there are many). The point of Capture was supposed to be single sourcing. This is what it should do ... otherwise, why have we paid money for it? If I wanted to just take snapshots of my screen and then manually generate alternative image versions I can do this using snagIt or any other image editing tool.

Please MadCap... hear my plea... let us know when Capture's going to be worth it's salt?

.. that's it... rant over...
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby i-tietz on Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:42 am

Netta wrote:I don't want to have to go through this nonsense for every image in my document (of which there are many). The point of Capture was supposed to be single sourcing. This is what it should do ... otherwise, why have we paid money for it? If I wanted to just take snapshots of my screen and then manually generate alternative image versions I can do this using snagIt or any other image editing tool.


Honestly - pumping up a screenshot with a software that is not made for rather professional graphic processing is redundant, because the quality of picture processing algorithms is rotten in other software. Believe me - you don't want to see those pictures in a 4C-print output.
I was working for an internet company a few years ago. We programmed a web-based content management system. For a customer's intranet magazine we tried to find that sort of software. The company's editors (sitting in offices all over the world) added pictures to their articles and we tried to find a tool that can process pictures with acceptable quality for the print output of the magazine and we could find ONE (of which I cannot remember the name) which was exorbitantly expensive itself (6-digit DM amount) and needed a WELL equipped server if you didn't want to wait a whole day ...

Its all a matter of the money you want to and can pay. MadCap is producing good standard software - not high end content management systems or graphics processing software. If you want sth. like that, you will have to pay at least 6-digit amounts (in US Dollars, not Turkish Lira) for the CMS and sth close to 5-digit amounts for the graphics processing software. And you would need specialists who know what they're doing for those sw packages ...
There is no "all-in-one software suitable for every purpose" for a smaller amount of money.

Inge

p.s.: The customer we had decided it would be a lot cheaper to get good quality pictures if they let a graphics designer company do the processing each time again for a period of approx. 10 years ...
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby Netta on Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:56 am

I hear you. If I wanted ultimate print quality I would be using a completely different set of sofware and yes, you tend to get what you pay for (in an exponential fashion). Fact is I just want images that don't look fuzzy or pixelated. They don't have to perfect but I'd like them in focus at least and of a sensible size in both media.

Quoting from Capture's documentation:

Single-source images This feature reflects Capture's tight integration with MadCap Flare. For a single image, you can provide one group of settings for online output and another group of settings for printed output. For example, you might want to use a resolution of 72 DPI (dots per inch) for online output and a resolution of 300 DPI for printed output. Rather than creating two separate images, you can use this feature to create just one image for both outputs.


I think this concept is brilliant and unique to this product (as far as I can see) so I applaud the MadCap guys for their concept. Unfortunately, the implementation only does half the job. Only allowing setting of dpi but not final image size is of no use at all. It may as well just not be there.
It's just frustrating that you find something that you think will solve a real problem and it just doesn't...

..humph.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby forfear on Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:22 am

bho wrote:I have an image (not a screenshot, but a schematic created with MS Visio and exported to PNG) that I want to include in a Flare project.


This is what we do over here as well. We use a lot of Visio to draw schematics.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby Dave Lee on Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:22 am

Netta wrote:Only allowing setting of dpi but not final image size is of no use at all.


I think it is fairly useless too, but for a different reason to that.

Capture* lets you set two DPI settings, on the Format and Print Format tabs.

Setting the the DPI on the Print Format tab works ok, in that it lets you control the size of the image in the print output.
(Although it'd be easier if you could also specify image dimensions, and let it calculate the DPI for you - rather than have to use a calculator.)

However, what does setting the DPI on the Format tab actually do? Yes, it sets the image's DPI setting for online outputs, but DPI settings aren't used by the browser. You can set it to 1 DPI or 1000 DPI, it'll appear at exactly the same size in the browser.

So this feature doesn't actually let you set the image size in the online output, as the image is always displayed at its pixel size.

One other issue that I noticed is that if you scale the image in the topic then it is carried through to the print output and completely overrides your print DPI settings.

(* On a side note, you don't need Capture to set your image's DPI (print) setting, you can do that in almost any image editor.)
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby doc_guy on Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:48 pm

but the point is that with a single sourcing tool, especially one like Capture that claims to single source your images for online and print, you shouldn't HAVE to have separate images for online and print. You should have one image with one group of settings for print and another group of settings for online.

The two image conditionally excluded thing is a lame-o fix for something that should be so easy. I can't figure out why Capture can't do this.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby Dave Lee on Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:44 pm

doc_guy wrote:but the point is that with a single sourcing tool, especially one like Capture that claims to single source your images for online and print, you shouldn't HAVE to have separate images for online and print. You should have one image with one group of settings for print and another group of settings for online.

The two image conditionally excluded thing is a lame-o fix for something that should be so easy. I can't figure out why Capture can't do this.


Absolutely, and I think that's the way it was supposed to work, but it doesn't because the online DPI setting has no effect on the display size. For the online output you need to specify the image's pixel size, not its DPI.

I'd be really interetsed to see an example project of how this is supposed to work, because I can't see how it can.
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby tomjohnson1492 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:21 am

I hadn't even thought about the scenario of a user printing out a page with images from online help.

Here's how I do my images. I'm not so excited about it, so maybe someone has a better suggestion for me.

I capture a screenshot using SnagIt, usually circle something in the image, and then save it. Then I save a copy of the same image and reduce its size to 75%. I do this because SnagIt has smooth scaling when you reduce images, whereas if you just drag the same image smaller in Flare, the resolution looks terrible (jagged and choppy) online.

I insert both images into topics, conditionally tagging one as print and the other as online. The print image is full size, but the online image is the 75% SnagIt reduced image.

I then drag the print image smaller in Flare. I do this because when I output to Word, Word's resizing algorithm keeps the image crisp and clear -- more so than the smooth scaling image that SnagIt renders.

The problem I run into is with caption bubbles that have text. They just don't work when I have all this resizing going on. What I've resorted to instead are figure captions instead. I love that Flare handles figure captions.

My image process seems a bit complicated and ungraceful. Anyone have a better solution for me?
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Re: Single source / different images sizes

Postby Rozzano on Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:26 pm

Dave Lee wrote:I'd be really interetsed to see an example project of how this is supposed to work, because I can't see how it can.


+1. I wonder how Testers were able to check this off the list as a successfully implemented feature. The feature has great value, but I have been forced into going the use-SnagIt-to-size-two-images route. That's not exactly the "single-source," "tight integration" solution I was expecting.
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