LabelVision Classic: Technical Notes

Understanding Graphic Sizing
This technical note provides detailed information about how graphics are placed and printed on labels. When you create a graphic and place it on your label, you must make several decisions regarding the size and resolution of the image.

How Graphic Size is Determined
A graphic consists of a number of small dots, called pixels, arranged in a two dimensional grid. Each pixel can be either black or white. The size of a graphic is measured in pixels. A particular graphic might be 200 pixels wide by 100 pixels tall.

Every printer has a different print density, typically specified in dots per inch (DPI). For example, the HP LaserJet has a print density of 300 DPI.

The printed size of a graphic depends upon both its size in pixels and the print density of the desired printer. To calculate the printed size (in inches) of a particular graphic, simply divide its number of horizontal and vertical pixels by the printer resolution (in dots per inch). For the above example, the graphic would print 2/3" wide and 1/3" tall.

Changing the Size of a Graphic
You can stretch or shrink a graphic with LabelVision, either when you bring the graphic into LabelVision or afterwards by resizing it using the handles. When you resize a graphic, LabelVision adds or removes pixels. However, doing this causes the graphic to appear distorted. This distortion is especially apparent when you have text in the graphic: fonts are very sensitive to the addition or removal of pixels.

To produce the best graphic appearance, you should ensure that you do not stretch or shrink the graphic in LabelVision. To accomplish this, follow the steps given below.

Printing a Graphic at the Best Possible Resolution
To create a graphic with the best appearance, follow these steps:

  1. First, decide how large you want the graphic to be, in inches. Then, multiply this size by the DPI of your printer to determine how large your graphic should be in pixels.
  2. Most graphics are created with paintbrush or drawing packages, such as Corel draw. When you create the graphic, you must make sure that the graphic has the size (in pixels) that you calculated in step 1. In Paintbrush under Windows 3.1 or Windows NT, you set the graphic size with the "Options | Image Attributes" command. In Windows 95 use the "Image | Attributes" command. Be sure to click the PELS radio button. Other drawing packages may require you to specify the size in inches as well as the density of your printer in DPI.
  3. Draw the graphic, and save it to a PCX or BMP file.
  4. In LabelVision, use the "Graphics | Read Graphic File" or the Windows clipboard to bring in your graphic. If, instead, you use the Graphic Tool to draw a rectangle, be sure to tell LabelVision to "Adjust the rectangle you drew" (first and default option on the "Graphic Size Mismatch" dialog box). Otherwise, LabelVision will stretch, shrink or crop the graphic to fit your rectangle.
  5. The graphic should appear at the desired size. If it does not, then your graphic size was not saved correctly - return to your drawing package and save the graphic properly, don't resize it in LabelVision. Note that the graphic quality may appear reduced on the screen, but it will print correctly if you have followed these steps.

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