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Enlarge Text In A pdf Document

Posted on 2012-08-28
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Hello Experts,

I have an issue that I am trying to help a friend out with, and have hit a road block. Here is a little background information first. They have an instructor that is doing all of the teaching from an iPad. During the lecture the instructor is writing notes on the iPad while giving the lecture, and at the end of everyday it gets converted into a .pdf file and e-mailed to all the students. This sound great in all, but the instructor rights in cursive and to make matters worse writes so tiny that it is nearly impossible to read (Hints making the notes virtually useless). Now I know you would normally be thinking now “Well tell the friend to take their own notes”, or tell the instructor they need to write larger, but this is one of those instructors that we all hated to have (You know the ones that move way to fast and offer no help). Here is my question…Is there any way to make the font bigger so that when you print it you may actually be able to read it?? The road block I hit was, I was able to have the friend to find out that the instructor is using “Notability”. When I played with that application I found out that when the file is converted in Notability to a .pdf it essentially takes a snap shot of the screen. This creates a .pdf that is broken up into four equal panes that are images (Why four panes I am not sure). Therefore the OCR recognition in Adobe can’t read the document to edit the text. Any help or thoughts would be a huge help to them.


Justin
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Question by:justinmoore14
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Expert Comment

by:xmlmagician
ID: 38341129
have you looked into this:

http://gingerlabs.com/blog/?p=911
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 2000 total points
ID: 38341201
Hi Justin,
One idea is to increase the size. I suggest using IrfanView to do this. It is excellent freeware that I've been using for many years:
http://www.irfanview.com/

Click the Download link on the left to download IrfanView and click the PlugIns link on the left to download the PlugIns, which are needed to give you PDF capability. Install IrfanView first, then install the PlugIns.

Run IrfanView and File>Open the PDF. Then click Image>Resize/Resample and you will see this dialog:
IrfanView Resize-ResampleThere are various techniques for resizing, but the simple first approach is to check the radio button [Set new size as percentage of original] and pick a big number, like 200%, maybe even 300 or 400. To keep the image proportional, check the [Preserve aspect ratio] box. Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:justinmoore14
ID: 38342733
Hello xmlmagician & joewinograd,

Thank you both for your replies.


Xmlmagician,

Thank you for your link that you posted, but I don't believe that is quite what I am looking for. I am looking for something more along the lines of what joewinograd posted, but I appreciate you taking the time to find that link for me to look over.


Joewinograd,

I download irfanview and installed it. Then installed the plugins. When I open up the .pdf I get the following error message (See Attachment called Error). Any idea??


Justin
Error.jpg
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by:justinmoore14
ID: 38342740
Hello JARmod101,


Thank you for your assistance! :-)



Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38342938
Justin,
It needs Ghostscript to handle PDF files. You may download it (free) from here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/files/GPL%20Ghostscript/9.06/

Click the [Download gs905w32.exe (12.7 MB)] link, install it, and then IrfanView with the PDF PlugIn should work. Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:justinmoore14
ID: 38343118
Joewinograd,

I downloaded Ghostscript (64-bit version) installed it. Then reinstalled IrfanView, then "You can download ALL PlugIns as one large EXE (recommended)" from this link below. I am still getting the same message. Does that not include the .pdf plugin you were referring to?? If not do you have an alternate location I can download it from?? When I try to download this .zip file " iv_formats.zip." the firewall catches it and says it has a Trojan attached to the zip file. Which of course blocks it from being downloaded.

http://www.irfanview.com/   Then (IrfanView PlugIns)



Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38343185
Justin,
You may download the PlugIns from here:
http://www.brothersoft.com/download-irfanview-all-plugins-164981.html

I'm sure it's clean. Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38343192
Or did you mean that Ghostscript is the problem? If so, try this:
http://www.ghostscript.com/
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38343204
Another way to get Ghostscript is the fabulous CutePDF Writer (freeware):
http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp

This is my go-to software for "printing" to a PDF file. You'll notice the link on the left that says:

Free Converter (GPLGS8.15; 5.01 MB)

That's Ghostscript, also needed by CutePDF to do its PDF thing. :)
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38345646
Justin,
I went back and read your post again and now I'm sure you mean the plug-ins, not Ghostscript. Here are three links that work just fine for me:

http://www.brothersoft.com/download-irfanview-all-plugins-164981.html
http://irfanview.tuwien.ac.at/plugins/irfanview_plugins_433_setup.exe
http://irfanview.tuwien.ac.at/plugins/irfanview_plugins_433.zip

They are the links in the top two sections at the landing page when you click the PlugIns link on the left (at the IrfanView home page). I always use the <setup.exe> one, which is the simplest to install – just run it. If you're getting an anti-virus warning on any of these files, I'm confident that it's a false positive. I just scanned the <setup.exe> with an up-to-date MSE and it came up clean. Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:justinmoore14
ID: 38345812
Hey Joe,

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I have been bombarded with other things, and haven't been able to devote my full attention to this. Also, sorry for the confusion on the post.

Ok, I am still getting the same error message that I posted above when I try to open the .pdf file. Here is what I have redone.

1) Uninstalled both Ghostscript and Irfanview.
2) Restarted Computer

1) Installed Ghostscript
2) Installed Irfanview
3) Installed irfanview_plugins_433_setup.exe
4) Restarted Computer
5) Open IrfanView and try to open .pdf file (Get Same Error Message)

I do notice that if you go to "Open" and then drop down the "File Types" .Pdf is not listed there. I am having to go to "All Files (*)" to try and open up the .pdf file. Could this be what the issues is?? For some reason are the plug-ins not getting installed properly??



Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38346022
Hi Justin,
I understand being bombarded. :)   OK, so to be clear, you're still getting the "Can't load Ghostscript or Ghostscript error" dialog – right? If so, look in Control Panel>Programs and Features to see if it's installed. For me, it shows up as GPL Ghostscript, Version 9.02, but that was from an install more than a year ago, so yours might be different. But my guess is that it's not there at all, which is why you're getting the error. I've seen this error dialog before, but installing Ghostscript from SourceForge or the CutePDF site or the Ghostscript site itself has always fixed the problem. At this point, I suggest trying another site for Ghostscript from the one you used, although I can't explain why any one of them wouldn't work – they all should. Re the file type drop-down, I also don't have PDF in there, but when I use <All files> and select a PDF, it works fine. I can also drag-and-drop a PDF from my file manager into IrfanView and it opens fine. Anyway, once we can get Ghostscript sorted for you, I'm sure things will be OK. Regards, Joe
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by:justinmoore14
ID: 38346235
Hi Joe,

Thank you for understanding.

That is correct about the Ghostscript dialog...Under Programs and Features I do have it installed. It shows as GPL Ghostscript---Artifex Software Inc. (Publisher)---8/29/2012---9.06 (Version). Any thoughts??

A couple more things to note. When you install Irfanview it chooses the Program Files (x86) folder by default, but when you install Ghostscript it chooses Program Files for its default location. This is a 64-bit ver. of Windows 7. That is why I said the other day that I downloaded the 64-bit ver. of Ghostscript and not the 32-bit. When I went through the steps I listed above (38345812) this morning I manually changed the path for Ghostscript install location to Program Files (x86) to match where Irfanview was installed. No Joy.

I just got to thinking that maybe it is because it is a 64-bit version of Ghostscript and Irfanview doesn't like it for some reason. I followed the same steps as above, but this time I used the 32-bit install of Ghostscript and made sure it picked the same Program Files (x86) install location by default of where Irfanview is installed. Still No Joy.

FYI...This is with all .pdf files and not just the ones that caused me to start out this post with.


Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38346368
I've never seen Ghostscript be such a problem before and I've been recommending IrfanView for many years, including several times this month here on Experts Exchange. I'm really perplexed by this. Here's my Ghostscript install entry:

==================================================
Entry Name          : GPL Ghostscript
Product Name        :
Version             : 9.02
Installation Date   : 5/29/11 09:44:48
Company             : Artifex Software Inc.
Description         :
Obsolete            : No
Uninstall           : Yes
Installation Folder : C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.02
Install Source      :
Web Site            : http://www.ghostscript.com/
Uninstall String    : "C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.02\uninstgs.exe"
Installation Change String:
Quiet Uninstall     : No
Registry Key        : GPL Ghostscript 9.02
Installer           : Nullsoft Install System
Root Key            : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (x64)
System Component    : No
==================================================

Here's my IrfanView install entry:

==================================================
Entry Name          : IrfanView (remove only)
Product Name        : IrfanView
Version             : 4.32
Installation Date   : 1/19/12 18:05:44
Company             : Irfan Skiljan
Description         : IrfanView
Obsolete            : No
Uninstall           : Yes
Installation Folder : "C:\Program Files (x86)\IrfanView\i_view32.exe" "%1"
Install Source      :
Web Site            :
Uninstall String    : C:\Program Files (x86)\IrfanView\iv_uninstall.exe
Installation Change String:
Quiet Uninstall     : No
Registry Key        : IrfanView
Installer           : Unknown
Root Key            : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
System Component    : No
==================================================

So it's the same as yours – GS in <Program Files> and IV in <Program Files (x86)>. There is no install program for the plug-ins – they are simply files that are copied into <Program Files (x86)\IrfanView\Plugins> – make sure you have them there.

I'm running GS 9.02 and yours is 9.06, but I find it hard to believe that's the problem. Here's an idea – reboot. Maybe the DLLs didn't get registered after your installations, or maybe it's something else that a reboot will fix.

Btw, what site(s) did you get GS from?
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Author Comment

by:justinmoore14
ID: 38350117
Hey Joe,

Ok, so I did a lot more playing around yesterday with trying to make this work and got no where. The more I got thinking about it the more I started to question whether or not the installation files were actually the issue or the computer (I to have never seen Ghostscript or Irfanview act this way). I took the same exact install files that I had downloaded and tried them on another computer (Same Setup Win7 etc...), and first try, it opened the .pdf right away, and so that narrowed it down to the machine being the issue. Now why would this machine be giving me fits. I thought about it, and realized this morning that an old plotter we used to use here (OCE TDS400) required ghostscript to work properly, and it was always a nightmare. Which this version of ghostscript was removed several years ago, and even though the new install of Ghostscript goes off without a hitch. The only thing I can figure is maybe there are some reminisce of that old ver. somewhere in the registry that is causing issues. I just don't have the time right now to go digging through the registry and try to remove all the old traces.

Now back to my original question. I am not really getting the desired results with just blowing up the image with Irfanview by just changing the percentage (I am up to 800% and really doesn't make that much difference plus it makes the image grainy (Which is understandable and to be expected)). You said above in post (38341201) that there are various techniques for resizing.....do you have any more ideas of some other ways I could try?? Still using Irfanview is fine with me, or another method.

Also, I increased the points to 500 since you are having to invest more time in this question than originally thought.




Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38351159
Good stuff, Justin! I was about to suggest setting up a new user account to see if IV/GS worked there, but trying it on a different machine achieves the same result. Glad we're over the IV/GS hump.

Please attach a sample file (make sure there's nothing private/secure in it) and I'll see what I can do with it. Regards, Joe
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by:justinmoore14
ID: 38351518
Me To....Ok, but just as an FYI, I will have to get another one sent to me from the friend I am helping (The one I have been working with is not that great of an example). I think they may try to send me one tonight, and I will see what I can do to get the private data removed and get it posted up for you to take a look at. Also, I just wanted to let you know that after tomorrow I may not be able to get back to this until Tuesday (I don't want you to have to fool with this either over the weekend).


Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38351726
Sounds good. Meant to ask re your previous post, when you say you're not really getting the desired results, what exactly is happening? Using 800% should make a huge difference – I just did only 200% on the screen capture posted above and it made a big difference. Also, you're right about the grainy image being expected, but one thing which will help with that is the <Apply sharpen after Resample> check-box in the Resize/Resample dialog. I just tested this on the screen capture posted above and there's a very noticeable difference between the sharpened and non-sharpened resized images. Regards, Joe
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by:justinmoore14
ID: 38363378
Good Morning Joe,

I hope you had a great weekend and Holiday!


What I meant was the text is not getting any easier to read so to speak, and it is only really getting grainy. This is what I meant by not getting the desired results.

I was finally able to get my friend to send me another sample over the weekend, and I have posted it here. Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.


Justin
sample1.pdf
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Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 2000 total points
ID: 38364066
Hi Justin,
Yes, had a very nice holiday weekend – stayed at home!

I just opened the sample file in Adobe Reader 9.5.2 (I don't use Reader X because of interface issues with other products). I maximized the window and did a zoom-to-width – the document is easily readable. The characters are sharp and clear – absolutely no problem reading the doc. This is without any resizing. My monitor is a 27" LCD with 1920x1200 resolution. I then opened the file in IrfanView 4.32 and found what you have reported – the characters are grainy and the doc is hard to read. I then tried two great third-party freeware PDF products – Foxit Reader and PDF-XChange Viewer. I did a zoom-to-width with both and the doc was again easy to read. I think the reason is the Rendering options in Adobe Reader, Foxit, and PDF-XChange (options like smooth line art, smooth images, and smooth text – sometimes bundled as an option for displaying on a Laptop/LCD screen). Try one of these free tools and let me know if the images are easier to read. Here are links to all three:

PDF-XChange Viewer
http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer

Foxit Reader
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/downloads/

Adobe Reader
http://get.adobe.com/reader/

I believe the default rendering options in all three will result in good readability, but if not, experiment with them. Btw, what are the size and resolution of the screens being used to view the docs? Regards, Joe
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by:justinmoore14
ID: 38364152
Joe,

Great to hear...Yep, it is sometimes nice to just stay at home! :)


Ok, I to opened the .pdf in Reader (Haven't tried the free ones yet) and got the same results you did when I did the zoom-to-width. This is great. Now that we are at least getting somewhere with that can we go back to the other half of my original question?? Is there anyway to have the text larger, so that when it is printed you can read it there as well. This way you don't constantly have to zoom in and out on the monitor??

I am not sure on the monitor size and resolution because they just got a new laptop. I will try to get a hold of them and find out, but it will be the display on the laptop (Not an External Monitor). P.S. You want to lend a fellow a monitor for a while?? LOL...I am still on 19".


Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38364272
On a WebEx right now. Should be able to respond in an hour or so.
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Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 2000 total points
ID: 38364684
Justin,
Most laptops these days have 13-17" screens with decent resolution and I'm guessing that the image will look fine when maximized and zoomed-to-width on your friend's laptop. I just tried it on a 15.6" laptop with 1366x768 resolution and it looked great. I also just printed it with Adobe Reader using Page Scaling of [Fit to Printable Area] and standard resolution on my color laser (600 DPI). The output is small, but sharp and readable. I'll work on trying to increase the size on the printed page and will get back to you later. Regards, Joe
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by:justinmoore14
ID: 38365550
Hey Joe

re WebEx post. Your fine....I hope it went well.

I think there's may be around 15.4 but don't quote me on that. I want to make sure I am on the same page as you though when you say ( fine when maximized and zoomed-to-width on your friend's laptop). Are you saying that you can see the entire document zoomed in and you are not having to zoom in and then zoom out, or zoom in and then move around the document??

Also, you got me thinking when you were talking about printing. I forgot that on some printers you can tell it to zoom in when it prints (Called various things depending on your printer). On the one here I am testing on I was able to get up to 150 percent and still get everything on the page. I think that may do the trick, and so I sent it to my friend and asked if that was what they were wanting and am waiting to here back.

I am curious though and would like to see what you come up with because it will probably be a better solution, or another way of doing it which is always a good thing to know as well in my book.


Justin
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Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 2000 total points
ID: 38365672
> I hope it went well.

It did, thanks for asking!

> Are you saying that you can see the entire document zoomed in and you are not having to zoom in and then zoom out, or zoom in and then move around the document??

Yes, exactly! Entire doc is sharp and readable without any further zooming. In other words, zoom-to-width is enough zoom on my 15.6"/1366x768 laptop to make it completely readable. All I have to do is scroll up and down (no need to scroll left or right).

> I forgot that on some printers you can tell it to zoom in when it prints (Called various things depending on your printer).

Yep! Some printers have it and some software products have it.

> On the one here I am testing on I was able to get up to 150 percent and still get everything on the page.

Nice!

> I am curious though and would like to see what you come up with because it will probably be a better solution, or another way of doing it which is always a good thing to know as well in my book.

Well, I don't know if it's better, but what I came up with is to use IrfanView to crop the parts of the image that have writing. To do this, you simply click-and-drag from the upper-left to the lower-right to mark an area, and then do an Edit>Crop Selection. After doing that, I did Image>Resize/Resample to 400% of original, with both [Preserve aspect ratio] and [Apply sharpen after Resample] checked. Attached is the resulting file. I then printed it with Adobe Reader using Page Scaling of [Fit to Printable Area] (which results in a landscape page of 11x8.5") and standard resolution on my color laser (600 DPI). The output is grainy, due to the 400% enlargement, but the large size makes it very readable. Try printing it yourself and let me know how it looks.

Cropping each page may prove to be too much manual effort for your friend. I guess it depends on how many such pages the instructor gives out for each lecture. Regards, Joe
sample1-IrfanView-cropped-resize.pdf
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Author Comment

by:justinmoore14
ID: 38369722
Hey Joe,

Thank you for all of your responses above!!

I was able to get hold of my friend last night and got them to check there printer settings to try that first and of course you can't do it on there printer (Go Figure). I explained to them how you have so kindly listed the steps out above on how to do it through IrfanView. They do get several documents per lecture, and yes the way you have explained above does take longer, but it works and it is better than not being able to read the text at all from the original that the instructor sends. I printed the one myself that you attached and also went through the steps my self and you can read the text now and it works.

My friend really appreciates your help and all you have done to take something that is worthless and turn it into something they can actually use. I appreciate all of your help getting me through the bumps in the road to get a finished product because I learned something new in the the process as well (Which is great for me). Thank you very much!! :-)

I am going to leave this question open for the next day in case you have any other thoughts or suggestions. If that is ok with you?


Thanks,

Justin
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38370003
Justin,
You're very welcome! I'm glad all of this was helpful for you. Fine with me if you leave this open, but know that I've often added thoughts and suggestions to questions even after they're closed. If I come up with any other ideas, I'll let you know, whether the question is open or closed. Regards, Joe
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Author Closing Comment

by:justinmoore14
ID: 38372770
Sounds Great!!! I look forward to hearing those if you come up with any. :-) Thank you again for all your help and have a great weekend.


Justin
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38373042
Justin,
You're welcome. It's a very interesting issue that I enjoyed working on, and if I think of anything else, I'll post again to this thread. You have a great weekend, too. Regards, Joe
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