Laser printer that reduces page size?

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).
11 answers Last reply
More about laser printer reduces page size
  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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).
  11. 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.
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