I wish to print some images that I have somewhat manually gone through to remove whitespace, and they aren't looking as good as I think they could be. What steps should I take to get them looking as good as possible for printing?

Do I sharpen or soften to get rid of some of the noise and blockyness around some of the text?

If this is in the wrong place, please inform me.

Sample image 1

Sample image 2

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  • No one here could possibly answer this without seeing the images, or at least a sample. – Scott Nov 13 '18 at 6:54
  • How do I go about that? Would attaching an image be sufficient? – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 7:08
  • Does this help? imgur.com/a/D0io9ZH – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 7:13
  • MrMe01 In a comment, you say: "Actually, scratch that, how can I extract the images in the best detail from the PDF? The images are perfect quality at this and higher levels of magnification when viewed in a browser-based PDF viewer?" So posting a JPG file has no sense. Do you have a PDF that actually looks fine? – Rafael Nov 14 '18 at 0:49

It is difficult to enhance pictures with such poor quality to perfection. You can however make them a bit clearer by using the photocopy filter in photoshop. In my example I used sharpness 18 and darkness 11.

enter image description here

  • Can I regain any of the lost detail in the text by converting the colours to black? – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 8:19
  • Actually, scratch that, how can I extract the images in the best detail from the PDF? The images are perfect quality at this and higher levels of magnification when viewed in a browser based PDF viewer? – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 8:25
  • Seems I misunderstood your problem. As I Understand you want to crop every circuit diagram? Provided you have the softwares, you could open the PDF in Illustrator and change artboard size on each page so that it fits the size of the diagram. Else you can crop each page in Adobe Acrobat Pro. – Mikael Carlsson Nov 13 '18 at 10:24
  • Yes, I want to be able to print in A3 certain parts of the document with both the highest quality text and without the whitespace from the original document – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 10:40

Open the PDF in Illustrator and Unembed the image, would be my approach to getting the highest quality version out of the original PDF.

There may be better ways to do this, though. I"m not sure.

  • This sounds like a workable solution. I will see if there is a free version on Illustrator available – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 10:41
  • Inkscape may be able to do this, too. – Julian Friesel Nov 14 '18 at 16:18


  • too low resolution for the texts
  • noise, mostly JPG compression artefacts (= grey extras around black areas), can be partly generated by imgur

You can reduce some of the noise and increase the contrast with photo processing software, but these cannot guess what the text is - human or artificial intelligence is needed. The result from photo processing will be more difficult to read altough some contrast and solidity can be introduced. I tried it.

You must rewrite texts if you want to increase the readability. Surely some advanced pattern matching software could find what the texts most probably have originally been, but I do not know how one can get such tools.

Photo processing: Try noise reduction and then increase the contrast with the curves tool. If that does not help, restart with higher resolution and in all phases without making JPGs. Have TIFFs, PNGs, PSDs or another non lossy format.

ADD: The PDF which you linked later is good. Open it in Illustrator and recompose it there. It seems to be left editable. Often that's not the case.

You can copy and paste parts to a new Illustrator work. Or use Indesign. Forget Photoshop. Ask printhouse what you must bring to them - CMYK, print marks? Office printers do not need those specialities.

If you still need bitmap mode processing, then have at least 300DPI or more DPI and do not allow anything nor anybody trash the result with JPG compression. Save as JPG with high quality level can be acceptable, but you probably gain as much space saving with compressed TIFF. Packbit compression is useful in TIFFs if there's large one color areas.

I tried to read your PDF also with free and low cost vector mode software. Inkscape and Affinity Designer both gave far worse result than Illustrator.

Actually Inkscape could open the PDF with Poppler/Cairo import mode, but everything was grouped in an extremely complex way. Extension > Arrange > Deep Ungroup opened the knot, but now all pieces, even letters in texts were separate objects. All texts were right looking but uneditable curves.

It can still be usable, if there's no need to edit texts.

Inkscape opened the PDF also in internal import mode with PDF fonts (=texts stay readable and editable), but bizarre groupings made editing impossible. Deep Ungroup failed.

Affinity designer replaced included fonts without asking. Here and there were unreadable texts as a result. The images were good, but unreliable text import made the result unusable. A guru perhaps could put the fonts back, but I do not know how.

  • Thanks for the definition there, I made a previous comment about getting scalable(?) images from the PDF and using that to convert, but the issue is they need white space cropping, and I am using the right click open with menu to paint to crop as it's the quickest method to use the auto crop function in Irfanview – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 8:29
  • Extracted from PDF example: imgur.com/a/yQZumZ5, using paint and Irfanview to remove whitespace – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 8:33
  • I've uploaded to that link another image or what it looks like magnified in a screengrab – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 8:39
  • @MrMe01 Please, show the PDF or at least a high zoom screen grab of the PDF taken from proper PDF reader. The new linked image is as bad as the previous BW images. Colors help readability for humans only. If w could see the original PDF we probably could find something actually usable. – user287001 Nov 13 '18 at 8:49
  • I have no idea if this is a suitable service or isn't blocked like some are on reddit? s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=26429753008631661771 – MrMe01 Nov 13 '18 at 8:57

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