The GIMP Print plugin is the printing facility for the GNU Image Manipulation Program(1)}. This section examines the features offered by the Print plugin.
The main window is divided into five panes:
The Preview pane contains a positioning widget that allows interactively positioning the output on the page. It contains an outer border, representing the sheet of paper; an inner border, representing the printable area of the printer; an arrow, pointing to the top of the page (the end that's fed into the printer); and a black rectangle, representing the position of the image on the page. The image can be moved around on the paper. When the first (left) button is used, the image is moved in screen pixels; when any other button is used, the image is moved in points(2). The arrow resizes depending upon the media size chosen; the shaft of the arrow is always equal to one inch on the output.
The Printer Settings pane contains a dropdown menu for selecting a printer to print to. There is a special `printer' named `File' that allows you to choose a file to print to, rather than a printer queue. The Setup box to the right allows specification of a printer type, a PPD file(3), and the command to be used to print. Each distinct printer in the Printer list can have different settings applied to it. Below that is a combo box allowing choice of media size. The choices are constrained to those that the printer supports. Below that are dropdown menus for choosing media type (what kind of paper), media source (what input tray), ink type, and resolution. All of these settings are printer-specific.
The Position pane contains various widgets to place the image on the paper. These widgets work in conjunction with the Preview pane. At the top of the pane is a button to center the image on the paper (not on the printable area), and on either side buttons to center vertically and horizontally. Below these are four boxes that allow entry of the left, top, right, and bottom of the image. These positions are relative to the top left of the paper(4). There are two additional boxes that allow specification of the right margin and bottom margin if you prefer; these are relative to the bottom right corner of the paper. Any of these may have values entered into them; the preview image will be moved appropriately.
Note: These entries do not resize the image.
Finally, there is a pick box for orientation (landscape or portrait). There is an `Auto' mode that picks the orientation that yields the orientation that best matches that of the image to be printed.
The Scaling pane contains a slider that allows scaling of the image. The image can be scaled in either percent of the printable area (not the page in this case) or pixels per inch (PPI) via a radio button below the slider. PPI allows matching image resolution to printer resolution. The image may be scaled using either method to between 5 and 100% of the imageable area. It is not possible to crop with the Print plugin. In Percent mode, the image is scaled so that neither axis will be longer than the percent of the printable area specified. For example, if you print an image at 20%, it will be possible to tile the image 5 times on one axis and at least 5 times on the other. To the right of the radio button is a button called Set Image Scale. This sets the scaling to PPI, and sets the resolution as closely as possible to the resolution stored in the image. To the right of the Set Image Scale button are two boxes that allow entry of width and height of the image. These set the scaling mode to PPI. Specifying one automatically sets the other, and the image is repositioned as needed to prevent it from falling off the edge of the page.
To its right is a button group that allows choosing English (inch) units or metric (centimeter) units.
The Image Settings pane allows choice of Line Art, Solid Colors, or Photograph image type. Line art or Solid Colors should be used for graphics containing mostly solid areas of color. They're very similar to each other. Photograph mode dithers more slowly, but produces more accurate colors. To the right of these three radio buttons is a button called Adjust Color. This pops up a new window that controls various output quality settings. That will be described separately. Finally, there is a choice of Black and White, Color and Monochrome output. Monochrome output can be used to print absolute black and white very quickly.
The Adjust Output button button pops up a non-modal dialog that allows adjustment of various parameters related to the print quality. These are independent of the controls within the GIMP itself and only affect the print.
At the top of the window is a thumbnail of the image that changes to reflect the color settings of the image. This enables you to get an idea of how the image will print out as you adjust settings.
Below that there are eight sliders:
There is also a selection box for the dither algorithm to be used in the pop-up dialog. There are currently seven choices:
The last pane contains four action buttons:
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