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Printing GCG graphics with PC

David L. Northcliffe dln4300 at TAMUTS.TAMU.EDU
Fri Dec 31 22:12:31 EST 1993


In article <19931228130241.bloksber at thomashaw-at.css.msu.edu>,
Leonard N. Bloksberg <bloksber at pilot.msu.edu> wrote:
>In Article <2f51mn$o0n at TAMUTS.TAMU.EDU> "dln4300 at TAMUTS.TAMU.EDU (David L. Northcliffe)" says:
>> I missed the discussion, but I was told that there has been some interest
>> in printing GCG graphics in this group recently.  I personally have tried
>> pass-through printing and PostScript files with no success at all.
>> 

Actually, after reading this followup (below) I tried pass-through printing
to a LaserJet again and it worked.  The funny thing is that all my previous
attempts were at work using LaserJets and PCs attached to 9600 baud line
drivers directly hooked up to the campus network. This time, I did it at
at home (using my PC/LaserJet) by dialing into the campus modems,
connecting to one of our GCG machines, and printing - over about 2 miles
distance, the phone lines, and God-only-knows how many intermediate links.
And it wouldn't work over the more direct connection at the office.  :-?

I still prefer the method I outlined in my original post of having GCG
print to a HPGL file, downloading the file to a PC, importing it into
WP Presentations, DrawPerfect, or WordPerfect, manipulating the fonts,
colors, lines, etc. before printing (and saving) the file.  This gives
me a lot more flexibility with the image than direct printing with GCG
does.

Note;  This is _not_ a PC-only solution.  That is just where my software
experience lies.  Since GCG can create PostScript output, and since there
are a lot Mac applications with topnotch PostScript support, it seems to
follow that there is a way for a Mac user to get GCG graphics into Mac
graphics software.  Then one could manipulate the fonts, colors, line
weights, etc., print the image, save it for future use or modification,
or best yet: "dress up" the image and use it as a figure in a Word
document (as well as other software).

>I have done this on both my old vax account, and my new unix account.  It
>is very simple, and I usually set it up in my login.com or .login as the
>default for my account.  The commands are the same on both accounts, but the
>syntax my change a little.  Try a couple permutations to see what works on
>your system, then write it into your login file as your default.  First, you
>must set up your HP Laserprinter on LPTI (look up the commands for another
>printer).  It will not read LPTII, and I cannot get it to re-set.  I have
>gotten it to go to a network printer that was networked through LPTI.  The 
>command is:
>.
>hpgl laserjetiii term
>.

About two years ago I did a lot of experimenting with different GCG
graphics configurations.  Here are the resulting modifications in our
login.com file (of course this is Vax syntax):

$! *********   Graphics/Plotting Mode Command Abbreviations   ********
$!
$       tk :=='Tektronix' Tek4014 Term:
$!
$       tv :=='Tektronix' VersaTerm-Tek4105 Term:
$!
$       ps :=='PostScript' LaserWriter Term:
$!
$       lj :=='HPGL' LaserJetIII Term: a4
$!
$       hp :=='HPGL' HP7550 hpout.hpgl a4
$!
$       eps :== 'PostScript' EPSF psout.epsf
$!
$!

First, notice that instead of having login.com set GCG to a certain
single graphics mode, I set up several 2-3 letter "shortcut commands"
to enable users to easily pick and switch graphics modes for whatever
they are doing at the time.

The command "tk" sets GCG to display graphics to the Tek graphics terminal
emulation of a PC comm program, MS Kermit.  I use this to preview graphics
on the screen as I am creating them.

The command "tv" does likewise for when you log in using VersaTerm on a
Mac.  VersaTerm will also allow one to save screen grabs from the 4105 screen
and save them in a couple of different Mac bitmap formats.  However, these
files are *bitmaps* which are limited to the resolution of the 4105 window,
so the quality is much lower than using pass-through printing or print-
to-file in HPGL or PostScript format.  The advantage of the VersaTerm
screen grab is that it is quick and easy, and any Mac user can do it
without having to "learn any new tricks".

The command "ps" I have never gotten to work.  But, since the only
PostScript printer we have is in the Boss's office, I don't really get
much chance to experiment, either  :-)

The command "lj", pass-through printing to LaserJet, has never worked for
me before, but it just worked 5 minutes ago.  Hmmmmmmm.  It did goof up
the margin, however, so I might have to set the page to something else
besides A4.

The command "hp" is my main workhorse.  This gives me the plotter files
that I can download to the PC and manipulate with WP Presentations,
DrawPerfect, or WordPerfect, and then save as .wpg files on the PC (as I
described in my previous post).

The command "eps" should work, but it won't.  I have tried having GCG
print to an EPSF file, downloading the file onto a PC and a Mac, and then
importing the file into programs (WP on PC, Canvas on Mac) which say that
they support EPSF format.  The result (if I remember correctly - it's been
a couple of years now) was the same in both cases.  The PC, or Mac,
program would import the file and display it as a large dotted outline
which would be completely empty, except for the name "psout.epsf" (or
"psout.eps" in the PC case ;-) in the center of the large, empty dotted
outline.

[I know very little about the makeup of PostScript files, so maybe
someone else should clarify the following.]

I had heard some where that PostScript (or was it EPSF?) files contain two
seperate images, a "screen image" and a "printer image".  In addition, I
heard that some "PostScript" (EPSF?) files only contain a "printer
image".  So, when I saw the above results with PostScript files, I
figured that this was the case with GCG files.  But, if I try printing
one of these files with either PC or Mac, I just get a large, empty
dotted outline with the name "psout.epsf" in the center.  Hmmmmmmm.

Since I don't have regular access to a PostScript printer or a Mac which
is better than a 1 meg Mac Plus, I *really don't care* about PostScript
printing.  However, printing to a PostScript file strikes me as an
*excellent* solution for the Mac users out there with access to high-
powered graphics software.  If I had a well-endowed Mac I would be
determined to figure out the method of importing GCG PostScript files
into Canvas and saving them as Canvas files.  And, once I figured it out,
that would be The Only Way for me.  :-)

If someone out there does know the secret if importing these PostScript
files into Mac software, please post about it.  It won't do me personally
any good, but there a lot of Mac users who could really benefit by this
approach.  And, since my Boss has a suitable Macintosh, he would also
want to know about this.  ;-)

>that's it.  The hpgl sets to Hewlett Packard Graphics Language, laserjetiii
>sets to the printer type, and term sets standard output to your terminal 
>(ie, your pc).  Oh yeah, you must have a couple megs of memory in your
>printer to handle the size of the graphics output from most of the programs
>in GCG.  It doesn't cost that much.  You can still test it out without the
>extra memory with some of the smaller outputs, but it will choke on the
>big ones.  Good Luck.
>.
>.	Leonard N. Bloksberg
>.	bloksber at pilot.msu.edu
>.
>.

Hopefully, with all the ideas and suggestions we toss out on the net, every
user can find an ideal way to deal with these graphics.  :-)


-- 
..............................................................................
                                                      David Northcliffe
                                                      dln4300 at rigel.tamu.edu
                                                      dln4300 at tamuts.tamu.edu



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