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What is the best way to convert a statistical table in MS Word to a publication quality image file?

Posted on 2011-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Dear Experts,
I recently wrote a chapter of a book where I created the tables as JPG files as follows.

1. I displayed each statistical table by doing print preview in MS word.
2. I used a screen capture tool ScreenPrint32 to grab the rectangle of my laptop screen containing the table and created it as a separate file.
3. I then edited each table JPG file separate in Photoshop to make it 600 dpi and remove the white space at the edge of my selection.

Is there a better way to do this?  How can I avoid the fuzzy gray pixels surrounding m characters.  If you look at the attached image file you will see I don't get a clear black and white contract between the numbers and the white space.  There are annoying gray pixels which detract from the publication quality of the image files.  Should I be printing with some Word-to-PDF utility that creates very good quality files.  How do I get rid of the fuzzy pixels?
Best Wishes,
Phil  and example table file
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Question by:PTRUSCOTT
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
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Install the free version of Cute-PDF Writer and print to PDF would be your best bet.

http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp
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by:PTRUSCOTT
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Dear Neilsr,
Are you sure this improves on the output from PDF995? I already have that installed and I'm not sure that what you are suggesting is better from the look of their Web site.
Phil
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Accepted Solution

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teylyn earned 500 total points
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Hello Phil,

JPG is not a good format for crisp edges like screenshots. If you want a crisp screenshot, use GIF or PNG instead.

What version of Word are you using? Word 2010 has excellent screen capture tools built in.

But even with earlier versions and Windows XP Paint, it should be easy to create good-looking screenshots.

Compare the attached three files of a screenshot of this web page. I took a screenshot and pasted it into MS Paint. Cut out a section, pasted into a new file and used Save As with different file options.

cheers, teylyn


test.JPG
test.GIF
test.png
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Expert Comment

by:teylyn
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The gray-ish pixels in the JPG format are the result of anti-aliasing that will ensure nice color gradients with photos, but are unsuitable for crisp black/white contrast of a screenshot.

GIF and PNG also have a smaller file. The compression algorithm is different.

If you create a GIF with Photoshop, it will probably look a lot better than the above GIF created with MS Paint. PNG is my favourite, though.

You could also consider using software like Snag-it, or similar screen capture tools if you don't have Word 2010. There are a few free, Open Source tools out there which should do the trick nicely.

cheers again, teylyn
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Author Comment

by:PTRUSCOTT
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Dear Teylyn,
I just used the built in snipping tool within Word 2010.  This is a fantastic magnificent improvement.  Bravo.  Experts Exchange rocks!! A thousand thank yous!!!
Phil
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Author Closing Comment

by:PTRUSCOTT
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Bravo!
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