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I am preparing the art project which involves using characters to obtain a visual and not literary artwork. Something like concrete poetry.

Project is supposed to be 20 inches of width and 15 - 20 ft of hight.

I tried various programs like Scribus but settled eventually with GIMP.

This project is to be viewed only on the computer it's not going to be printed. Now I need a software I could use for viewing only purpose.

I thought of exporting GIMP file as PDF and use Acrobat Reader but apparently the project is too large for the program to display. So, is there any software capable of displaying such a file for viewing purpose only like PDFs or should I just use GIMP or Photoshop for displaying the project?

I don't want it to be a picture you need to zoom in to see details (the text) but something like scrolling down like a PDF or website because it's important to view the project in chronological (top -> bottom) order.

  • Why do you need a special viewer? You can export in various formats from GIMP, including JPEG or PNG. All the viewer needs to view those is a web browser. – Billy Kerr Apr 21 '18 at 9:34
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    You can set a PDF to show contents at 100% rather than the typical default of "fit to screen". – Scott Apr 21 '18 at 9:35
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    Gimp/Photoshop images are bitmaps. I am able to create a 2000x60000 pixels image (which is about what you need to display 20"x600" on current displays) with Gimp() and then view it fullscreen at 1:1 zoom with Gwenview (with some scrolling of course). If you want a real PDF you have to create your image with vector graphics apps (Illustrator ior Inkscape). () rather simple image of course, with one layer the image takes 1.5GB or RAM). – xenoid Apr 21 '18 at 13:43
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    With all respect. Your process has no sense. If it was meant to be viewed only on screen, why did you not made it at scale? Why would someone be interested in opening a humungous file? – Rafael Apr 21 '18 at 22:14
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    Nonsense 2: Why did you make it on a raster program in the first place? Nonsense 3, why you now want a PDF file, instead of a simple JPG? A PDF will be a PDF with a JPG inside. – Rafael Apr 21 '18 at 22:15
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The basic problem as Xeniod pointed out is the resulting file size. While there are many PDF viewers, some may choke on files that are too large. Others may not choke, but can take a looong time opening the file, so much so the user thinks it's broken.

You mentioned print size, but not dpi. Since it won't actually be printed, you could use a low dpi. If you search around, you'll find billboards printed at 30 or even lower dpi. Lower dpi means smaller file size. Did your client/professor/teacher/boss give you a minimum dpi?

If not, to keep the filesize down, use a vector drawing, as Xenoid suggested, or start with a smaller image, say 1in by 12in at 600 dpi. When done, scale it up. This will give you a 30dpi final product. Much more manageable.

You should also ask the client/professor/teacher/boss what format they want it in. If they "don't care", go with PDF. That's a safe bet.

  • This kind of misses the point I think. If the image is only to be viewed full-screen on a video monitor, then: (1) DPI can be ignored completely, and the image should be precisely the pixel size of the target display; (2) there is no benefit to PDF. As @raphael states, a PDF is simply inserting the untouched image into a PDF wrapper, increasing the file size. If resampling is done while exporting the PDF, then any size benefit is from that and the resampling should simply be done on the original. Hopefully the OP can give the specification sheet, so we might be able to provide coherent answers – Yorik Jun 21 '18 at 17:06
  • True, but some teachers/bosses insist on something that doesn't make sense. And if you want to pass/keep your job, you do it anyway. – user2891127 Jun 28 '18 at 1:48
  • @user2891127: unless it is plain impossible. If you cannot convince your boss it is, fake it, and tell him/here that it worked. – usr2564301 Nov 18 '18 at 20:10

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