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Printing to individual gifs... fast.
February 11, 2009 12:15 PM   Subscribe

I have (several) word documents and have a need to convert each individual page of the word documents to a gif file. I am looking for a fast, efficient, batch-process way of completing this task.

Any suggestions? What I am doing now is terribly inefficient, by printing each page to a pdf, then using a "scrolling screen" capture utility (fast stone) to capture the entire pdf sheet and save it to a gif.
posted by yoyoceramic to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can improve your current process somewhat by printing each document to a single pdf and using a batch tool such as ImageMagick to convert the pdf pages to separate gifs.

The command line should look something like

convert somefile.pdf page%d.gif

posted by ghost of a past number at 12:29 PM on February 11, 2009

Photoshop CS3 can do this. Save each document (not each page) as a PDF. Open the PDF in Photoshop, and in the dialog box that appears, select all the pages (hold down Ctrl, or Command on a mac, to select more than one page). In the options, choose "Crop to: Art Box", and set the image dimensions and resolution to whatever you want for your GIF files.

Click OK and Photoshop will open each page of your PDF as a separate image. The images might have transparent instead of white backgrounds, but that's okay. Now open the Actions palette, click the "Create new action" icon at the bottom, name the action "Save as GIF", and click Record. Now use "Save As" to save one of the open images as a GIF, specifying which GIF options you want in the Save As dialog. Then click the Stop icon in the Actions palette.

Now click File -> Automate -> Batch. In the "Action" drop-down menu, choose the Save as GIF action you just created. For Source, choose Opened Files. Choose a destination folder and check the "Override Action Save As Commands" box. Leave the first filename box as "Document Name", and in the second box type ".gif". Click OK and Photoshop will do its thing. Then verify that your GIF files were created correctly, and repeat for each document. Easy!
posted by oulipian at 1:02 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you have access to *nux consider the WV package:

I use wvPDF to batch convert documents to PDF fairly often. Embedded images sometimes don't size correctly. It's free, worth checking out.

Should be simple to do a batch script from there. Let me know, I have one lying around here somewhere.
posted by teabag at 1:34 PM on February 11, 2009

Here's the easiest way I know:
1. Open the Word document.
2. On the File menu, click Save As.
3. In the Save As Type field, select Web Page (*.htm) .
4. Click Save.

There will be a new folder with the name of your document plus _files (for example, if your document was named memo, the folder is named Memo_files). Inside the folder are all the graphics as GIFs, and HTML file, and an XML file.

No need for Photoshop, UNIX, etc.!
posted by Houstonian at 5:10 PM on February 11, 2009

(Argh. Please ignore. I thought you needed to save all the graphics... not make each page a graphic.)
posted by Houstonian at 5:11 PM on February 11, 2009

There's always pdfcreator. Free and wonderful, but it will not print multiple page documents to single per page gifs. It will print to almost all other image types though (jpeg, tiff etc) but only page by page.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 5:14 PM on February 11, 2009

Can't your capture utility generate the .gif from Word itself? It'd save you the PDF conversion step. I've used Snag-It and that worked within Word.

The other thing you could look for is a virtual printer driver that would let you "print" directly to a .gif file. That might be the easiest.
posted by FreezBoy at 5:52 PM on February 11, 2009

FinePrint costs $50, but it will do exactly what you need.

1. Install FinePrint and set it as the default printer.
2. Select all of the documents you want printed in Explorer, right-click, and choose Print.
3. In the FinePrint window that pops up, press the Save button. If you choose an image format, it will save all of the printed pages into image files, one per page.

There's one snag here: FinePrint (at least the version I have) does not support saving directly to GIF. You'll have to safe to BMP and mass-convert the images to GIF. (TIFF will also work, but don't use JPEG, as JPEG compression will give you fuzzy images.)
posted by qvtqht at 11:38 PM on February 11, 2009

I didn't notice FreezBoy's link to Zan Image Printer above. FinePrint will do essentially the same thing, but costs $10 less, and lets you do a lot of other cool things, the biggest of which is letting you see an accurate preview everything you print. It has probably saved me hundreds of sheets of paper just in those blank pages with one line at the end of many printouts.
posted by qvtqht at 11:41 PM on February 11, 2009

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