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Laser printer that reduces page size?

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Anonymous
August 23, 2005 7:43:04 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

I'm in the market for a laser printer that -- among its other features
-- can reduce the size of the page when printing (this relates to
postal mailing labels which have to fit on certain sized packages). Is
this something that you can do with a typical laser printer these
days? If so, what is the range of reduction you would get?

Pardon me if this question seems dumb, but I'm moving up from an
Okidata 610e which is about 10 years old (which will >not< do this).
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 12:49:15 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

"Mr. Mike" <mjq@spamcop.net> wrote in message
news:11hmg1h7l9vnee8a8f6q5ipcuhfhtetuod@4ax.com...

> I'm in the market for a laser printer that -- among its other features
> -- can reduce the size of the page when printing (this relates to
> postal mailing labels which have to fit on certain sized packages). Is
> this something that you can do with a typical laser printer these
> days? If so, what is the range of reduction you would get?

The easiest way to do this is:
1. Convert your label(s) to a graphic format.
2. Resize labels as needed: the point is
that some apps resize graphic files as a
single unit. (Some word processors may
do this as well, because Windows printers
are graphically-oriented. But you need
software for this task. Printers do not do
it unaided.)

--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
August 24, 2005 5:22:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 15:43:04 GMT, Mr. Mike <mjq@spamcop.net> wrote:

>I'm in the market for a laser printer that -- among its other features
>-- can reduce the size of the page when printing (this relates to
>postal mailing labels which have to fit on certain sized packages). Is
>this something that you can do with a typical laser printer these
>days? If so, what is the range of reduction you would get?
>
>Pardon me if this question seems dumb, but I'm moving up from an
>Okidata 610e which is about 10 years old (which will >not< do this).

I'm not sure what you really mean; "reduce" in relation to what?
The size on screen is arbitrarily related to the printout.
Normally you'd set this in the printer driver, or page properties, etc
in your application.

Possibly look at http://www.fineprint.com/, they have a free demo.
It's a virtual printer driver with some useful features, including
scaling.

Otherwise, if you're using plain text, you can send commands to set
the default font to whatever size you like, with PCL or PS printers
(but not the cheap Win/GDI printers), then send the data.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:57:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Mr. Mike wrote:
> I'm in the market for a laser printer that -- among its other features
> -- can reduce the size of the page when printing. Is
> this something that you can do with a typical laser printer these
> days? If so, what is the range of reduction you would get?
>
> Pardon me if this question seems dumb, but I'm moving up from an
> Okidata 610e which is about 10 years old (which will >not< do this).

Any PostScript printer makes this child's play. (In fact, there was an
Okidata 610e-PS ... if that's the one you've got, then it most
assuredly >will< do this. :)  You could take your PDF of the postage
label,
tell Adobe Reader to print it as a PostScript file, then just edit that
output as a text file and add something like

0.80 0.80 scale

in the right place and send the file to the printer--no messing with
conversion
to some other graphics format in some other program, which is the long
messy way
around. What to do if you want a different reduction than 80% is left
as a
(giveaway) exercise for the reader. :)  There will be a limit to how
small you
can make the label and still read the barcode, and your printer's
resolution may play a role in that, but PostScript will happily print
at any scale factor
you specify. (Weasel words: if anything in the PDF you start with was
defined
in bitmap rather than vector form, the results will be less than
perfect.)

-Chap
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 5:34:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 01:22:32 +0800, Alan <none@none.com> wrote:

>I'm not sure what you really mean; "reduce" in relation to what?
>The size on screen is arbitrarily related to the printout.
>Normally you'd set this in the printer driver, or page properties, etc
>in your application.

These are PDF files produced by Canada Post for use as mailing labels (including
postage, etc.). There is a "snapshot" tool within Adobe Reader which I can use
to isolate the part of the label I want to use. This can then be pasted into
word or a graphics program and reduced, but the quality of this reduced image is
not very good (it includes a bar code which cannot be reduced too small,
otherwise it won't work when the package is scanned at the post office).

I think the problem in this regard is the printer ... which only goes to
600x600.
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 12:25:11 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Chapman Flack <googrou@anastigmatix.net> wrote:
> Mr. Mike wrote:
>> I'm in the market for a laser printer that -- among its other features
>> -- can reduce the size of the page when printing. Is
>> this something that you can do with a typical laser printer these
>> days? If so, what is the range of reduction you would get?
>>
>> Pardon me if this question seems dumb, but I'm moving up from an
>> Okidata 610e which is about 10 years old (which will >not< do this).
>
> Any PostScript printer makes this child's play. (In fact, there was an
> Okidata 610e-PS ... if that's the one you've got, then it most
> assuredly >will< do this. :)  You could take your PDF of the postage
> label,
> tell Adobe Reader to print it as a PostScript file, then just edit that
> output as a text file and add something like
>
> 0.80 0.80 scale

Why not just set Acrobat Reader to scale the page when printing (Page
Setup, or whatever it's called)?

As to hand-editing a PostScript file, it may not be practical for many
users. Most PostScript files are machine-generated code that is
difficult to read in the first place. After the application's
PostScript prolog renames all the commands, making changes can become
downright challenging.

--
Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota * USA
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 4:23:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 20:25:11 -0000, Warren Block <wblock@wonkity.com> wrote:

>Why not just set Acrobat Reader to scale the page when printing (Page
>Setup, or whatever it's called)?

I can't see any way to do this with the free version of Acrobat Reader.
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 4:31:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On 24 Aug 2005 10:57:54 -0700, "Chapman Flack" <googrou@anastigmatix.net> wrote:

>Any PostScript printer makes this child's play. (In fact, there was an
>Okidata 610e-PS ... if that's the one you've got, then it most
>assuredly >will< do this. :) 

Alas, it is not.
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 10:53:36 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Warren Block wrote:
> As to hand-editing a PostScript file, it may not be practical for many
> users. Most PostScript files are machine-generated code that is
> difficult to read in the first place.

That's certainly true - but when the file is well behaved (which not
all, but many, are), adding 0.80 0.80 scale at the front of the file
will reduce what follows to 80%, whether it is difficult to read or
not. If there is an %%EndSetup comment, putting the scale operator
there is likely to do the trick, if putting it at the top didn't.

> After the application's
> PostScript prolog renames all the commands, making changes can become
> downright challenging.

Application prologs often define short aliases for common operators to
save space in the file, but rarely (I've never heard of it) undefine
the original operators. The application may be using S instead of
scale, but scale will still work.

Because PS is a full programming language, you sometimes run into files
that do something you didn't expect when you change something at the
top. Reader seems in some cases to build in a procedure that
auto-scales and centers every page image to the clipping path's
bounding rectangle, which will make the file seem to ignore any
translate or scale operator you've added. (Simplest way around that is
to set the clip rectangle you want, and let the page scale and center
itself to that.) As with any full programming language, there is no
simple edit guaranteed to do what you want in every case. The upside
is that a simple edit quite often /will/ work on the first try and do
exactly what you want, without any questions about what is happening to
the image representation and quality if you go through format
conversions just to load the file into some WYSIWYG program to make the
change there.

In the cases when you do run into a PS file that seems too 'clever' to
respond to your edits as you expect, you can use something like ps2ps
to interpret it and generate a less clever (and usually longer) PS file
that will behave.

-Chap
August 25, 2005 12:28:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

In message <2mtog1h3fgcrpdgijlgp6h9kukll45gkfi@4ax.com>, Mr. Mike
<mjq@spamcop.net> writes
>
>These are PDF files produced by Canada Post for use as mailing labels
>(including
>postage, etc.). There is a "snapshot" tool within Adobe Reader which I can use
>to isolate the part of the label I want to use. This can then be pasted into
>word or a graphics program and reduced, but the quality of this reduced
>image is
>not very good (it includes a bar code which cannot be reduced too small,
>otherwise it won't work when the package is scanned at the post office).
>
>I think the problem in this regard is the printer ... which only goes to
>600x600.

I think it is a limitation of the Adobe Reader snapshot tool, whenever I
have used that it seems to reduce the quality of the copied area.
Presumably this is a 'feature' to encourage purchase of Acrobat.

--
Timothy
August 26, 2005 1:30:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 13:34:06 GMT, Mr. Mike <mjq@spamcop.net> wrote:

>On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 01:22:32 +0800, Alan <none@none.com> wrote:
>
>>I'm not sure what you really mean; "reduce" in relation to what?
>>The size on screen is arbitrarily related to the printout.
>>Normally you'd set this in the printer driver, or page properties, etc
>>in your application.
>
>These are PDF files produced by Canada Post for use as mailing labels (including
>postage, etc.). There is a "snapshot" tool within Adobe Reader which I can use
>to isolate the part of the label I want to use. This can then be pasted into
>word or a graphics program and reduced, but the quality of this reduced image is
>not very good (it includes a bar code which cannot be reduced too small,
>otherwise it won't work when the package is scanned at the post office).
>
>I think the problem in this regard is the printer ... which only goes to
>600x600.

No, actually this is an Acrobat problem. 600 dpi is far above the
minimum resolution for barcodes, I used to do it on dot matrix
printers.

I'll make some suggestions, but if they don't work, I suggest you try
an Acrobat forum, like comp.text.pdf.

First is to tell Canada Post about this, they should make this easier
if they want you to use them.

The "snapshot". I believe this actually is a screenprint, even if the
original art is linework it just makes a screen capture. With the full
version of Acrobat you can crop and make an EPS with lineart,
otherwise the thing to do is select the area you want, then zoom in to
the maximum, even if the area you selected is mostly off screen, then
do the snapshot. This should give you the highest resolution. Try
pasting that in your document and scaling it there. If that works,
experiment to find the minimum zoom you need.

If you have access to drawing tools like CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator,
Freehand, you can probably open the PDF in that and make a lineart
graphic (EPS or even WMF).
August 26, 2005 1:40:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

On Thu, 25 Aug 2005 00:23:26 GMT, Mr. Mike <mjq@spamcop.net> wrote:

>On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 20:25:11 -0000, Warren Block <wblock@wonkity.com> wrote:
>
>>Why not just set Acrobat Reader to scale the page when printing (Page
>>Setup, or whatever it's called)?
>
>I can't see any way to do this with the free version of Acrobat Reader.

With a PS printer, you should have a "scaling" option under the
properties in the printer control panel. You should also find this in
the print dialogs, under "graphics".

With the FinePrint driver I mentioned earlier you can define a custom
page size (smaller than your real one) and then do "Fit to page" in
Acrobat's print options.
!