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Image quality on report preview stinks

BradleyCleveland
BradleyCleveland used Ask the Experts™
on
I have an access 2007 database that displays customer images on forms and on reports. The pictures within the forms are sharp and look great. The images on the reports print sharp, but when viewing them on screen look as if they are rendered at 16 or 256 colors. The quaility is so poor, the people in the pictures are indistinguishable.
Is there anyway to get sharper images on report preview?  Is there something I'm doing wrong.
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Is the image size mode set to Clip? If not, try that and see if it improves the quality.
Simon BallChief information Officer

Commented:
quick google reveals other users with the same problem, appears to be an access bug.

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en/addbuz/thread/0fc2aabb-eddf-4fda-b1db-4a70096a0ab1

someone has made an activex control for images which does the job properly,  but that requires installation on every client pc, apparently.

http://access.bukrek.net/

Commented:
When viewing an image on the report increase the zoom.  If you are viewing a full page, even spaces between words will disappear unless you increase the zoom.
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS Liason
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
Are these images Stored in the Access 2007 DB as the attachment datatype?

I use "Linked" images and do not have any issues with image quality on screen.

Do you have SP2 installed?

JeffCoachman

Author

Commented:
The images are linked.  I am running Access SP2.  Have same problems on machines running XP pro sp3 or Windows 7.
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS Liason
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:

< but when viewing them on screen>
Please be specific here...
Clearly define "Them"...
Form images, Report Images of Both...
Thanks.

What control are you using to display the images on the Form and on the Report?
I use the standard "Image Control", and again, they display fine on the form and report, and both display fine on the screen.

What is your "Size Mode" set to for the images?

Are you sizing the image controls larger on the object that looks bad?

Author

Commented:
I am using Access' built-in Image control.
The images look great on the forms, but extremely on reports in print preview.
Images on the reports are the same or slightly smaller in size as those on the forms.
Size Mode is Stretch
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS Liason
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:

Can you post a screenshot of one of these "ugly" images(report), and also post a screenshot of one that looks "Good"(Form)?

Have you tried setting the size mode to ciip as I originally suggested? I had the exact same problem and fixed it by setting the size mode to clip.

Author

Commented:
If I set the size mode to CLIP then a lot of the picture gets cropped off.
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS Liason
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
And what about thoes screenshots....?

Author

Commented:
Here's the screen shots. The top is displaying the image from a form, the bottom is the same image file being displayed in a report in print preview mode.
images.jpg

Commented:
I'm convinced ;-)
MIS Liason
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Commented:
Wow!

Well, I tested this and Yes, I was able to replicate this issue.

Despite being the preferred MS Image format, this issue seems to only occur with Bitmap file types.

I tried all resolutions of bitmaps (256 color and 24 bit color) and the report images always looked much worse than the Form images.

I did not notice this in my original tests because I mostly link to .jpg images.
...which by the way display fine in both the form and in the report.


So barring any other fixes, As I see it you have 2 options.
1. Convert all the images to the .jpg format.
2. Leave the images in the .bmp format and tolerate the report Preview images, because the actual Hardcopy printout will be fine.

But perhaps this is a function of a low end Video card, so I will try this test at work.

I am also curious to see if any other experts can replicate this, of do some machines display the Form and Report images just fine...

JeffCoachman

Author

Commented:
these are jpg images. Maybe it has something to do with the jpeg compression. You said your jpegs looked fine in a report
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS Liason
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
Yes,

So this is odder still...

If you try linking to a bitmap what happens?

Again, this may be a Video card issue...

Author

Commented:
Ok, this got me going in the right direction. Most of the pictures we use are anywhere from  4X4 inches up to 35X40 inches depending on who took the picture, their camera settings and how much cropping was done. Access doesn't seem to have a bit of problem shrinking down these jpg images and rendering them on a form in a little 2X2 " square, but it just doesn't seem to be able to shrink them down properly on a report. By shrinking the actual pictures down close to the size of the image control on the report, the images will then appear almost as sharp as if displayed in a form.

Commented:
I also noticed that embedding something like a spreadsheet or part thereof into a report and then viewing can sometimes result in letters/words/numbers missing in the preview as it normally previews a full page.  Increase the zoom and the characters are restored.  
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS Liason
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
<Most of the pictures we use are anywhere from  4X4 inches up to 35X40 inches depending on who took the picture, their camera settings and how much cropping was done.>

Makes sense.

Any program that manipulate images must, try to acount for this by using some type of compression.
The more compression that is needed, the less accurate the rendering.

If these are all employee pics, then set the camera to take picture at a standard resolution and size.
4x4 is usually fine for facial images that do not require "Photoshop" level detail.

;-)

JeffCoachman