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Best format to post schematics?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by William at MyBlueRoom, Feb 24, 2006.

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  1. I've recently setup a web site with a handful of
    schematics on it.

    Currently they (you click on the thumbnail) an get a 200/300dpi .PNG

    I would like to use .PDF but is this a better format? or .GIF?

    Also I could remove the color, just post B&W to keep the size down...


  2. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I'm fond of 150dpi PDF's. Check them out on the S.E.D/Schematics page
    of my website and see if you like the readability.

    ...Jim Thompson
  3. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    2-color GIF is the most widely accepted format for line drawings. PNG
    handles what JPG and GIF did seperately (lossy compressed pictures and
    lossless drawings, respectively), but is less supported because it's a
    relatively new format.

    PDF is more annoying because you need to open a whole program (or plugin) to
    view a file; GIFs, JPGs and PNGs can be embedded smoothly.

    PDF may be better where text, such as a document is needed with the
    schematic, or for complicated schematics where scrolling may be easier.

  4. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I can zoom in in Acrobat reader. I converted Ladybug, but its aparently
    has some Jpeg trash when you zoom in. Perhaps converting top
    PNG?? Pdf file is 4 times bigger. Perhaps Acrobat is creating the trash?
    PNG looks fine, as long as the drawing has big enough lettering.
    I'm printing now to see what it looks like.

  5. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    Why not offer the user a choice?

    A screen-sized (say, 1024x768) GIF or PNG for quick viewing, and a
    page-sized PDF for printing and detail viewing. Note: the PDF only
    makes sense if it's produced directly from your schematics; don't
    bother with a PDF that just has a copy of the GIF inside it; the
    advantage of PDF is that it's resolution-independent and thus produces
    very crisp printouts.

    I'd stay with color if there are just a few; the user can always
    convert to b&w if they want, and IMHO color - used appropriately
    (i.e. sparingly and consistently) - can make a schematic much more
  6. I do have a way of printing PDF files. I do like using them, didn't
    realize they kept vector information.
  7. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

    I like B&W .pdf's for schematics. check out:

    with just a touch of red in the logo.
  8. Kurt Delaney

    Kurt Delaney Guest

    Can you "print" directly to a PDF? I think the problem you are seeing is
    that you are using your application to create a .png file, which is raster
    graphics. Then you are trying to convert that file into an Acrobat file.
    That will never work well, because the original vector graphics information
    was lost during the rasterization process of saving it to a .png.

    If you have Acrobat installed, you should have a virtual Acrobat printer
    available. When you "print" to that virtual printer, the vector information
    should be passed to Acrobat, and then Acrobat will create a much better
    document; one that can be scaled easily w/o artifacts and will be much
    smaller in size.

  9. Kurt Delaney

    Kurt Delaney Guest

    It depends on the application whether or not the vector information is
    retained. The Acrobat virtual printer driver can accept either raster or
    vector data, and it is up to the application to send the best format. Give
    it a try and see what happens.
  10. JW

    JW Guest

    Does anyone know a way to copy a picture/image in a pdf w/o any text that
    may be in the same field when you use the snapshot tool? So far I've had to
    copy everything in the box from the snapshot tool and the only program I've
    been able to copy it to is MS Word. After getting it to Word, I haven't been
    able to find a way to extract only the picture/image. Thanks
  11. Carl Smith

    Carl Smith Guest

    For those of you sick of the eternal load times for Acrobat
    Reader, I happened across an alternative.

    It's a program called FoxItReader at

    It's a small program with one exe file and no install. It
    doesn't litter your system with 1000 .dll's and registry keys.
    And it loads pretty much instantly on my system.

    I'm not affiliated with them in any way. Just a satisfied user
    for the last 2 or 3 days since I found it.
  12. Mark Zenier

    Mark Zenier Guest

    PNG is just as good or better than GIF.

    For the smallest file size vs. resolution, both TIFF and PDF can use
    the Group 4 fax compression algorithm, but your source needs to be 1 bit
    per pixel (Black and White). (Both will also use other compressions for
    other source encodings).

    PDF will use a JPeG type compression for greyscale and color, which can
    really look ugly and bloat to huge sizes. Depends on your distiller's

    Mark Zenier
    Googleproofaddress(account:mzenier provider:eskimo domain:com)
  13. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I'll try that later. I don't see how one can use PNG to print directly,
    and get readable results, unless you zoom and print multable sections.

    I saw Jpeg artifacts when i converted that PNG page to Acrobat.
    PNG is supposed to be lossless, yet I saw artifacts during this conversion.

    I'll fool around when I get a chance.
  14. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Paste it into any paint program, and crop it. THEN put it in your MS doc.

    Good Luck!
  15. I like B&W .pdf's for schematics. check out:
    Site seems to be a newsgroup, unsure how to see your pdfs?
  16. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

    It's a link to an article on abse. Just click on it.

    If that dowsn't work, then go to alt.binaries.schematics.electronic
    and look for "Latching relay circuit with timed override (from sed)"
    in the subject line.
  17. B Fuhrmann

    B Fuhrmann Guest

    "William at MyBlueRoom" wrote ...

    PDF is not "a" format. Internally it can have multiple formats. If your
    PDF generating software can include the schematic from a vector source, it
    would be the best by far. With a vector format, you print it on any printer
    or zoom in almost indefinitely without looking chunky.

    BMP, PNG, GIF, TIF, and JPG are all bitmap formats. Bitmaps are made of
    dots. Zoom in and eventually the dots show up.

    JPG is in a class by itself in that it uses a compression format that throws
    out part of the picture. It was designed for photographs and so that the
    detail it throws out is not all that visible at lower compression ratios.
    However, if you compress line art (like a schematic) with the compression
    method, it will create small speckles along all edges. The higher the
    compression setting is, the more pronounced the trash is.

    BMP and color TIF files do not compress the picture at all and tend to be
    larger files.
    Black and White (not even gray) TIF files can use Group 4 compression which
    comes from the fax standards. It is lossless but can compress the pictures
    an amazing amount.

    From my understanding PNG is similar to GIF (which I am more familiar with)
    except that software makers do not have to pay royalties to a copyright
    holder to use it.
    GIF uses a limited (256 colors) color pallet and gets good compression
    without any loss of image.

    The hassle is that not all people have all the viewers for all types of

    In comes Adobe and the PDF format. Adobe is into publishing and created PDF
    in that image. It is based on postscript with the ability to mix various
    types of graphics inside a file. Depending on the quality of the software
    you use, it can include some items as text, some as vectors (drawn lines and
    areas), and some as bit maps. For bitmaps, it can change them to various
    resolutions and compression types. Your software may allow the resolution
    and compression to be adjusted.
    If you go to, they have a link to
    their system map
    The file is about 1.7 meg but has an amazing amount of detail in color. The
    paper map is 18x24 inches. It contains a lot more than you are likely to
    ever include in a schematic.
  18. google groups does not have an alt.binaries.schematics.electronic
    and your other link just runs my email newsreader, again without
    finding anything.

    I'd like to see one of your .pdfs, email me with a .pdf if you like

  19. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

  20. B Fuhrmann

    B Fuhrmann Guest

    I saw Jpeg artifacts when i converted that PNG page to Acrobat.
    You need to check your settings. Your PDF software may be using JPEG
    compression for bitmaps in the PDF file.
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