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Printing from a screenshot...

Turnerea

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This is a little off topic, but I think many of you may know right off why this is happening...

I'm printing some maps (free .pdf download of USGS topo maps). I'll set the scale to 100%, take a screenshot of what area I want, sometimes splice other sections together from other maps, then print it out, making sure that the dimensions are such that it isn't scaled down when printed.

Problem is the size that is finally printed is larger than what the standard 24k topo map should be. Somewhere in the process the size increased... just not sure where/how. I've realized that when I am displaying the scale on the pdf @ 100%, it doesn't match an actual 24k topo scale when I hold it up to the screen.... shouldn't it though??

Any thoughts/suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks,
Erik
 
.... I've realized that when I am displaying the scale on the pdf @ 100%, it doesn't match an actual 24k topo scale when I hold it up to the screen.... shouldn't it though?? ...

No, not necessarily.

There are quite a number of places where the scale could easily get altered:

1. The application that generated the PDF may not have scaled the data accurately.

2. The display resolution in Acrobat (I assume you are using Acrobat Reader to display the PDF) may not be set to match your video card's actual resolution.

3. The application that you are using to assemble your screen shots may be assuming a PPI different from your video system's actual resolution.

4. The print driver may be scaling the image data.

There is nothing you can do about #1 except to apply some scaling correction at a later stage. #2 is adjustable in Acrobat v8; check Preferences. #3 is adjustable in any good image editor. #4 can be insideous and may require some trial-and-terror adjustments to tweak the print scaling when you print from your image editor.
 
Regardless of why, depending on the program you're actually printing from, I'd recommend making the final map to the proper aspect ratio (approx) that you're wanting, and then actually doing an image resize and use inches rather than pixels... so that you resize your image to the size you want prior to printing, then it won't be resized for you. Keep in mind, you'll have to account for your printer's margins. Then when you actually print, you should be able to tell it not to scale when it prints - which will force it to print actual size.

Hope all that makes sense.
 
@dwig- thanks I'll check up on those suggestions. I would hope #1 is not the problem, as the source for the files is the USGS. #2 and #3 are probably what's going on....

@dakkon- thanks for your input. I think that I have those bases covered. I usually have a large topo map in a file (in gimp) and then I crop it to 7.75" x 10" which is the printable size that my printer can handle.
 

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