Getting Quality Graphics in Your ePublisher Output
Often, people wonder why their images don't look right, aren't named right, or just aren't behaving as expected. Here are a few tips for getting the best-looking graphics possible in your output.
When the ePublisher engine encounters an anchored frame in your FrameMaker source documents, it checks it for the following conditions:
- Is the frame a different size than the original image (is there white space in the frame)?
- Is the image copied into the document, rather than imported by reference?
- Is the original image a file format other than JPG, PNG, or GIF?
- Are there additional graphics elements in the frame (text boxes, multiple images, callouts, etc.)?
If it determines that the answer to any of these questions is "Yes", then the entire frame will be rasterized. Only then will the settings in the Style Designer be applied to create a new image for output. If a by-reference GIF image is shrink-wrapped and contains no callouts, then it will be copied directly into the output folder in most cases, bypassing the options for Graphic Styles. This could explain why some of your images are being converted to JPG while some are not. You can override this feature by setting the "By-reference graphics" option to "Disabled." All graphics should then be rasterized according to the appropriate Style Designer settings. The "fuzziness" in output images, unfortunately, is a product of this image rasterization.
For now, the best procedure for inserting graphics in your FrameMaker source documents is:
- Create a unique paragraph style for images.
Use the paragraph's alignment properties to control the position of your images.
- Insert an anchored frame in an empty paragraph of the style created in step 1.
- Import your image file by reference (rather than copying into the document) into the anchored frame.
- Only JPG, GIF, and PNG are supported. All others will be converted.
- Import at the image's native resolution
- Shrink-wrap the frame (type 'esc+m+p' with the frame selected) and change its properties to "insert below line"
- Save the document.
- Regenerate your output.
For the best results, images should be resized (if necessary) using a graphics editing application before importing, rather than adjusting the DPI or scale in FrameMaker. Otherwise, by-reference graphics will retain their original file size, but will be scaled in the browser or rasterized according to the anchored frame's size (resulting in distortion).
To display your images at full size in online output, change the "By reference graphics use document dimensions" on the Options tab to "Disabled." Images should be saved, imported, and displayed at 96 DPI for the best compatibility with most Windows desktops.
Graphics callouts are useful in many publications. However, the addition of text boxes and line drawings results in a rasterized image that may appear fuzzy in ePublisher output. It is best to add and edit callouts in a third party application and to import a single image containing them.
Note: The most recent release of ePublisher Pro (v 9.2.2) allows you to add text boxes with GraphicStyle markers (or any other markers for that matter) to your images without requiring rasterization. This applies only to markers, as they do not affect the appearance or format of an anchored frame.