A snapshot from Krakow:
Time has come for preparing my dissertation for official printing. Luckily, I had done most of the formatting when creating the manuscript for the committee, so I expected an easy process. It hasn’t been too bad, but some challenges have appeared:
- CMYK: There are several years since I last had to deal with professional printing, so I had totally forgotten about the need for preparing all colour images in CMYK. Similarly, the people at the printing office asked me to convert all images that are supposed to appear in b/w to grayscale. Having something like 200 images in by dissertation, it has taken some time to batch-process, re-batch-process, and manually sort out all of this. I only have the non-UB version of Photoshop which took far too long, so I decided to try the batch processing capabilities in GraphicConverter. After some tweaking of parameters it seems to work quite well, although it refuses to convert from RGB to CMYK. It says that it does it, but the files remain in RGB. So the solution was to convert everything to grayscale (which worked!), and then to manually convert the pictures on the 11 pages I will print in colour to CMYK. Ah, when are they going to invent RGB printers…
- Vector graphics and transparency: I love the crisp printing produced by the vector graphics coming out of OmniGraffle Pro. Unfortunately, the people at the printing company told me that they have problems with the transparency in these images. After trying a bunch of different combinations, I finally had to give up my nice-looking vectors and save them all as JPEGs. They don’t look that bad, but vector graphics certainly look better.
- Cropping: One of the best features of Preview in OS X is its ability to crop images easily by just selecting an area of the image and hitting apple-k. Preview warns that cropping PDFs is non-destructive, but I turned off that error message a long time ago, and haven’t thought about it much ever since. This is also because PDFTex reads the cropped PDF files correctly, and maintains the cropping when I output my PDF from the TeX code. However, while doing my batch processing I realised that GraphicConverter does not care about the cropping set by Preview and opens the original version of the PDF. So I had to recrop everything in GraphicConverter and run another batch process. I learned the lesson: never do things the easy way, do it right from the beginning!
Now things seem to be sorted out, and I hope they accept my document this time around. The only challenge is to create a web-savvy version of the document, with RGB colours…
After being convinced by Tim, I have started using TextMate for text editing things. Right now I am mostly interested in its many nice LaTeX features, and the best so far is that it will create the necessary code when dropping and image into the text. You can’t believe how much time and effort this saves me. Very, very handy!
Came across a great website with lots of references to the work of Étienne-Jules Marey (1830 – 1904), a pioneer in early photography. I particularly like his chronophotographies.
I am very visually oriented and often prefer some graphic representation over text. Now, as I am starting to get into the writing face of my dissertation, I am looking for how to better incorporate visuals (and other media) as part of my dissertation. I will probably end up with some more or less traditionally formatted document, although I have been thinking about writing a hypertext document. However, I will probably make it as an electronic document (PDF) with included audio and video, and of course plenty of graphics and images.
Looking around for some pointers, I came across this blog post on adding graphics to presentations.