Image Capture and Print Utility
Prepared by Michael L. Davis Software Farm, Inc.
July 14, 1991
Image Capture and Print Utility
This application allows the user to get images from the video screen, to display and to interactively place and modify these images, and to convert them into data that can later be printed on a one of a number of supported printers.
The user of the application can specify what area of the video screen to 'grab' by selecting a window, by interactively rubberbanding a box to select an area, or by selecting the entire screen. An Application Programmer Interface (API) is available for other applications to likewise access the internal functionality of this application.
This application can get images from any video screen containing any number and type of windows and user interface objects as long as they are running on the X Window System. This then includes any window of any X Window application, any OSF/Motif application, any Xt application, and even an OpenLook application.
The application contains an editor which displays the images, in their current position and color, in correct proportion on an image of a (reduced-size) piece of paper. The user can then interactively drag images around the "page".
Options are available that permit editing the color to gray-scale mapping and choosing among various methods of dithering.
Images can be reloaded after saving and then changed and saved in a different printer format.
Printers supported include printers supporting:
1. HP-Printer Control Language:
a. HP LaserJet laser printers (all models) b. Most clones of the HP printers. c. Many others.
a. Apple LaserWriters. b. QMS PS 810, 820.
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c. TI MicroLaser. d. Canon LJB. e. Many others.
3. Color HP-Printer Control Language:
a. HP PaintJet. b. DEC LJ250 Companion. c. Many others.
4. Color PostScript:
a. QMS ColorScript. b. Seiko ColorScript. c. NEC ColorMate. d. Many others.
.c.The Main Window;
The main window offers the user both a standard application interface with easy access to commonly used functions and immediate feedback about the current appearance of the page being constructed.
.c.The Main Window Menubar;
The main window menubar provides access to the printable image library, to common editing functions, to the image placement and attribute forms, and to the default image attributes.
.c.The Files Menu;
Create a new page of images.
Posts a modeless selection box dialog with the list of names of existing pages of images. The user selects a name of an previously saved page from the list of names in the selection box. There are then two operations available to users of this menu: the 'Open' operation and the 'Load' operation.
The 'Open' button removes any images currently in the main window editor, updates the main window settings to be those of the selected image, and then loads the image. This operation may cause a
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warning dialog to be displayed, asking the user to ok/cancel the removal of images from the editor.
The 'Load' button loads the selected image and adds it to any other images already in the editor. The current editor settings remain as they were and are applied to the image when it is loaded. Any image may be loaded as often as desired.
Saves the currently opened page of images.
4. Save As
Saves the currently opened page of images under a new name. A dialog box prompts the user for the new name. If this new name conflicts with an old name, a Warning dialog is posted asking the user to confirm loss of data.
Posts a modeless selection box with the list of names of existing pages of images. The user selects a name and selects the 'Delete' button. This operation may be repeated as often as desired.
6. Save Settings
Saves the current default settings as indicated by the radio and toggle buttons in the menubar (see below). The settings include the appearance attributes and printer configuration.
7. Reload Settings
Loads the current default settings as indicated by the radio and toggle buttons in the menubar (see below). The default settings are automatically loaded when the application is first started.
Ends the application and all windows associated with it. Prompts the user to save any unsaved changes if necessary.
.c.The Edit Menu;
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Redraw editor which includes the page, its margins, and all images.
Center the selected images within the page.
Removes the selected images from the page. The images are not deleted from disk if they have been previously saved. If the images haven't been previously saved or have been changed, the user is asked to confirm the permanent loss of data by a Warning dialog.
4. Clear All
Removes all images from the page. The images are not deleted from disk if they have been previously saved. If the images haven't been previously saved or have been changed, the user is asked to confirm the permanent loss of data by a Warning dialog.
Toggles the posting of the Placement form.
.c.The Capture Menu;
The mouse pointer appears as a pointing finger during the capture operations. The user then clicks on the left mouse button to execute the operations. The images that are captured are then displayed in the center of the editor.
The user clicks on the window whose image is desired.
The user moves the mouse pointer to a corner of the area on the screen whose image is desired. The user then clicks the left mouse button and then moves the mouse pointer to the opposite corner of the desired area. A rubberbanding rectangle is drawn which outlining the current boundaries of the area. The user then clicks the left mouse button again to complete this operation. If any key is pressed between the start and end of the area capture operation, the operation is terminated and no area is captured.
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Any displayed windows of the Print Utility are immediately hidden. The user the clicks on the left mouse button causing the entire screen to be captured as an image.
.c.The Appearance Menu;
This menu displays and allows the user to modify the default image resolution and colors. All newly captured images automatically inherit the default resolution and color processing. All presently displayed images are likewise converted to the new attributes unless the attributes are locked in place (lock is set in the attributes form).
1. Minimum The minimum resolution supported by the printer.
2. 75 dots per inch
3. 90 dots per inch
4. 100 dots per inch
5. 150 dots per inch
6. 180 dots per inch
7. 300 dots per inch
8. Maximum The maximum resolution supported by the printer.
9. Black & White
10. Black & White and 3 gray
11. Black & White and 15 gray
13. Attributes... Toggles the posting of the Attributes form.
.c.The Printer Menu;
This menu displays and allows the user to modify the default printer type, orientation and size. All newly captured images automatically inherit the default printer
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type, orientation and size. Changing the value of any of the items causes the visual appearance of the editor and the images displayed in the editor to be updated. For example, a color image will appear to change to black and white when the printer setting is changed from color PostScript to ordinary (black and white) PostScript.
1. "HP LaserJet (and compatibles)" 2. "HP PaintJet (and compatibles)" 3. "PostScript" 4. "Color PostScript" 5. "Encapsulated PS" 6. "Color EPS"
Indicates that the orientation of the paper is to be portrait (that the paper is taller than it is wide).
Indicates that the orientation of the paper is to be landscape (that the paper is wider than it is tall).
Indicates that the paper is to be letter sized (8 1/2 inches by 11 inches).
Indicates that the paper is to be legal sized (8 1/2 inches by 14 inches).
.c.The Help Menu;
The help menu is not implemented at this time.
.c.The Main Window Editor;
The main window editor occupies all of the window underneath the menubar. It displays the current page (i.e. current piece of paper in the correct orientation and aspect ratio) and the current images on that page. The images displayed in the editor accurately reflect the printed appearance and size relative to the actual printed page.
The top, bottom, left and right margins are displayed as black strips on the sides of the page. Note that these margins often are necessary because the actual printer
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hardware cannot print near the edges of a piece of paper. The margins are not adjustable by the user in this release of the application.
When an image is 'captured' it is immediately displayed in the editor on the image of the page. This displayed image is the original image after it has been adjusted is accordance with the gray scale and resolution options as specified in the menubar.
The images can be interactively moved by positioning the mouse pointer over the image and pressing and holding down the left mouse button while moving the mouse.
.c.Selecting Images and Manipulating Selected Images;
Selected images can be manipulated in several different ways. They can be moved, changed or removed.
An image can be selected by positioning the mouse pointer over the image and clicking the left mouse button. Clicking the left mouse button over the image again deselects the image.
The positions of selected images can be changed by use of the Placement Form as well as the 'Center' option in the 'Edit' pulldown menu. They can also be interactively moved with the mouse as described above.
The current selected image (which is the most recently selected image) can have its appearance altered by use of the Attributes Form.
Selected images may be removed from the page by selecting the 'Clear' option also in the 'Edit' pulldown menu.
.c.The Image Attributes Form;
The Attributes Form allows the user to alter and tailor the appearance of the most recently selected image. The form is displayed by selecting the 'attributes...' toggle button in the 'Appearance' pulldown of the menubar.
The attribute options provide easy and expressive methods of applying the built in image processing capabilities to an image. They facilitate the user by allowing him/her to experiment with the images to determine and obtain the most aesthetically appealing printer output.
.c.The Color to Gray Scale Options;
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The Color to Gray Scale Options offer the ability to the user to choose how, if at all, to convert the original color image to a black and white image suitable for printing. This implies that there must be some kind of image processing applied to an image. This processing is usually some kind of dithering.
1. Black And White.
Half of the original colors are mapped to white, half to black.
The size of the image remains the same.
2. Black and White and 3 Gray Colors.
Each color is mapped to black, white or its (algorithimically determined) closest matching gray color that can be formed from a 2-by-2 square patch of dots.
The width and height of the image both double.
3. Black and White and 15 Gray Colors.
Each color is mapped to black, white or its (algorithmically determined) closest matching gray color that can be formed from a 4-by-4 square patch of dots.
The width and height of the image are both increased to 4 times the original.
The original colors of the image are not processed or changed in any way. Note that the option can also be applied to a black and white image.
The size of the image remains the same.
.c.Resolution (Dots per Inch);
The Resolution radio buttons offer the ability to the user to choose what resolution at which to print an image. Note that increasing the resolution of an image:
1. Increases the quality of the printed image,
2. Reduces the size of the printed image, (Note that size change is indeed reflected in the main window
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3. Darkens the image somewhat.
.c.The Current Image Area;
The Current Image area displays the current image in a scrollable window. The drawn image is not scaled. Each dot in this window corresponds to a dot on the to-be-printed page. The image has been adjusted according to the type of dithering and exact color-to-gray-scale mapping as indicated by the radio buttons and the 'Color to Gray Scale Mapping' area.
.c.The Color to Gray Scale Mapping Area;
The Color to Gray Scale Mapping image area displays the current dithering pattern (i.e. gray color) that corresponds to each color which occurred in the original image. The gray color that is to be printed in place of an original color can be changed. This is accomplished by positioning the mouse cursor on top of a original color or it's corresponding gray color and clicking the left mouse button. Each click cycles the gray color to the next possible shade that is available with the current dithering radio button setting. If the click occurs on the original color the corresponding gray color becomes lighter, if the click occurs on the original color the corresponding gray color becomes darker.
.c.The Lock Option;
The 'Lock in current attributes' toggle button offers the ability to the user to choose to prohibit any changes outside of the attributes form from affecting the current image. This means that changing the settings in the main window pulldown menus will have no affect on the current image.
.c.The Image Placement Form;
The Placement Form allows the user to specify the relative positions of the selected images; either to each other or to the page as a whole. The form is displayed by selecting the 'placement...' toggle button in the 'Edit' pulldown of the menubar.
The placement options provide easy and exact methods of arranging single and multiple images in commonly desired orientations and configurations. They facilitate the user by
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allowing him/her to experiment with the images to determine and obtain their most desirable positions.
The Placement Form options are:
Positions the center of selected images as a group in the center of the margins of the page. The position of the images relative to each other is not changed.
2. Center Horizontally.
Positions the center of selected images as a group in the middle between the left and right margins of the page. The position of the images relative to each other is not changed.
3. Center Vertically.
Positions the center of selected images as a group in the middle between the top and bottom margins of the page. The position of the images relative to each other is not changed.
4. Align Left.
Positions each of the selected images so that their left edge is coincident with the left edge of the leftmost image. This causes the images to be arranged in a column and is similar to the left-justification used in text processors.
5. Align Right.
Positions each of the selected images so that their right edge is coincident with the right edge of the rightmost image. This causes the images to be arranged in a column and is similar to the right-justification used by text processors.
6. Align Top.
Positions each of the selected images so that their top edge is coincident with the top edge of the topmost image. This causes the images to be arranged in a row.
7. Align Bottom.
Positions each of the selected images so that their bottom edge is coincident with the bottom
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edge of the bottommost image. This causes the images to be arranged in a row.
8. Stagger Alignment.
Positions each of the selected images in a diagonal pattern in a stair-like manner down the page from the upper left to the lower right. If there are too many images for the diagonally oriented images to fit on the page, the images that would be forced off the page are positioned as close as possible to the correct, diagonal position, and still have all of the image on the page.
The images are placed, in order top-to-bottom (and therefore left-to-right) in the same sequence as they were originally selected. If a different ordering is desired, the images may be deselected and then selected in a different, more suitable order.
Image A rectangular pattern, either color or black and white.
Dither A process by which color dots are replaced by patterns of black-and-white dots.
Gray Scale A method by which colors are replaced by various shades of gray. Similar to Black and White TV.