How can I print new DVD inserts?
February 25, 2008 11:47 AM   Subscribe

How can I print a series of .jpg files to exact size specifications?

I fear this is going to be a really easy/stupid question, but I swear I've searched and can't figure it out.

Here's what I have:
A PC running Windows XP
A Macbook running Leopard
An HP Photosmart C4280 (NB: An answer to my question that would work this printer would be great, but if there isn't one then I would be open to hearing about other printers that might work.)

Here's what I want:

I have a jpg file. I want to tell the computer to print the jpg file so that when I hold it in my hands, the picture on the piece of paper measures x cm by y cm. That is, I want whatever program I'm using to be able to blow up/shrink the picture to an exact size. Is this possible?

To be more specific, I'm trying to make DVD inserts because a few of my cases were inadvertently broken and the little inserts inside got ripped. I bought a package of Memorex brand DVD inserts, which are scored pieces of paper for easy cutting. The inserts came with a program, but the program sucks and I can't get it to print very precisely on the paper. Both the PC and the Mac versions of this program (Expressit) are atrocious.

So, what's the best way to print these covers?
posted by soonertbone to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
posted by essexjan at 11:54 AM on February 25, 2008

Don't blindly follow that ifranview tutorial. It suggests you size down the image, while retaining the DPI at 72. This is silly in your case.

You should attempt to keep all the data of the image you have (ie. don't throw away any pixels), and size down the DPI until the printable dimensions match the physical size of the inserts. You can do this in photoshop.
posted by beerbajay at 12:15 PM on February 25, 2008

Okay, well - There's other DVD case generating software out there, right? I figure there's got to be. If you've gone crazy looking, then this will help.

1. Figure out what DPI your printer is printing at. It looks like it goes up to 1200dpi for black and white stuff. That's probably overkill. 300dpi is pretty darn sharp.

2. Figure out the size of your images, and then divide by the printing DPI to get the largest reasonable size for those If you're printing at 300dpi (nice and crisp, commonly used by digital printing houses for photos), then a photo that is 3008x2000 (straight out of a Nikon D70, maybe), will be 10x6.6.

So, if you've got a front insert that's 5"x7.25", you'd want your image to be 1500x2175.

This link will probably help.

And some templates for DVD cases, so you don't have to use that program.
posted by god hates math at 12:26 PM on February 25, 2008

Crap. I obviously screwed up that "templates" link - Here.
posted by god hates math at 12:44 PM on February 25, 2008

Personally I use Irfanview when I have a large number of images to update because of it's batch capabilities (i.e., it can manipulate, convert or rename all or selected files at Batch Conversion/Rename from the File drop down). But I don't know what the other options are that offer batch conversion, so this is just my 2 cents.
posted by forthright at 12:48 PM on February 25, 2008

If you have access to a copy of Photoshop, it will do this painlessly.
posted by neckro23 at 2:51 PM on February 25, 2008

Scribus Free page layout software. You can set up your page, place images, text, and other graphics where you want with control over their size and resolution.
posted by Reverend John at 6:24 PM on February 25, 2008

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