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books with non-Apple printer #1
Kenneth Lim's picture
by Kenneth Lim
August 29, 2010 - 2:47am

I would like to print high quality albums using Aperture's layout tools. I have found the paper from Apple's books to feel a little bit “lightweight” so I'm looking for another solution.

I understand that Couture, Graphistudio, Leather Craftsmen, and Queensberry offer plug-ins and commerce integration for exactly these purposes. I have not found much in terms of online reviews of these providers, but I get the sense they are pricey. Pricing was not very clear on a lot of these sites, and I'd rather not register with each of them to get a proper list.

I know it will vary on quality/page count among other things, but can anyone speak to the pricing of these printers?

Also, I have been told since Aperture 2 that you can save a PDF of any book layout and print with anyone you want. I would think printing with a WHCC or Bay Photo may be more reasonable while maintaining solid quality.

Has anyone been able to do this? I have had trouble just saving a high quality PDF (I seem to be outputing 72DPI).

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
August 29, 2010 - 3:10pm

Kenneth,

The printers you mention (Couture, Graphi, etc.) are ambiguous about their pricing for a reason. You can’t even open an account with them until you prove that you are a professional photographer, and perhaps even a wedding photographer. The reason for this makes a lot of sense when you’re the photographer selling an album to your bride—you really don’t want the bride to know the actual cost of printing, if you can avoid it. Photographers spend a LOT of time laying out wedding books, and when a bride pays a photographer $2,000 for their book, that price has little to do with the cost of printing, and everything to do with the time and effort spent in the layout, retouching, etc. But that can be a difficult thing to explain to some clients :) So having a printing price that’s completely masked from the public is good for the photographer.

As far as printing through a third-party printer, your printer may want a PDF or they may want JPG or TIF files. You’ll see under the PDF drop-down in the Print dialog, there’s options to Save PDF to Folder as JPEG for example. You can modify these scripts to save what resolution you like; these live in the root Library, at Macintosh HD/ Library/ PDF Services.

There’s a little more to it than that (the high rez PDF part) and I’ll get back to you shortly. I went to verify my answer and ended up with another question that I need to get answered before I finish this reply.

In the meantime, if you’re really into making a customized book, check out Sara France’s video Custom Book Design. There’s lots of info on customizing your layout as well as customizing output using the info above.

I’ll get back to the rest of this answer asap.

@PhotoJoseph
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PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
August 30, 2010 - 2:16am

Kenneth,

Actually if you look closely, it turns out the built-in “Save as PDF” is creating a 300dpi file. You just can’t tell in Preview, because when you view at “actual size”, you’re seeing it at the print size, not screen size.

If you open a page in Photoshop, it will open at 300dpi. To be sure, I made a book and saved a PDF and opened that in Preview. I then kept zooming in until I felt it was 100% (zoomed in and in until it I could see rasterizing, then zoomed out once). I then opened that same page in Photoshop, first as a Page at 300dpi (the default) and then as an Image. I viewed that at 100%. Then I opened the same image in Aperture, and viewed it at 100%. All three images were identical in size, telling me that the “Save as PDF” did in fact export the image at full resolution.

So… you’re fine with the built-in “Save as PDF”. And if you need to export as JPGs instead, follow the instructions above to control the resolution it outputs as.

@PhotoJoseph
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Kenneth Lim's picture
by Kenneth Lim
August 31, 2010 - 11:35pm

Thx Joseph.

I thought about it a little bit more after posting, and you are absolutely right. Once I get my workflow down it makes a lot of sense to prefer that pricing information be less accessible to the general public.

As for that PDF resolution tidbit, thats brilliant! Thanks for running that little test, I’m going to do the same and see if I get similar results.

Back to the printing…I suppose I will try to get someone from sales on the phone from each of these providers as a starting point. Meanwhile, if anyone has anything to say about these guys (Couture, Graphistudio, Leather Craftsmen, and Queensberry etc), I am all ears!

And thank you for the Sara France recommendation. Actually came across one of her tutorials on one of those printer websites, and noticed you in the credits. That reminded me to post here!

Jennifer Rees's picture
by Jennifer Rees
December 16, 2012 - 5:10am

Hello,

I am also trying to use Aperture to design a book, but would like to print with a third-party printer (Blurb). I have tried printing the book to PDF, but the quality is diminished. I tried following your instructions, but there is no longer a “PDF Services” folder in the library. I tried using the “Save PDF to folder as JPG” but I get this error message every time: “The document “Save PDF to folder as JPEG” could not be opened because it is damaged or incomplete.” Any suggestions? It seems like it shouldn’t be so difficult to export a book from Aperture to print elsewhere! But there is a visibly noticeable difference in quality between my original JPG files that went into the book and the PDF that Aperture puts out. How can I improve the quality or export as a high quality JPG or Tiff? Thank you!!!!

Jennifer Rees's picture
by Jennifer Rees
December 16, 2012 - 9:58am

Update:

I was finally able to get my “Save PDF to folder as JPG” workflow to work, after having downloaded it from your website - Thanks Aperture Expert!

Here’s the link to download it from this site: http://www.apertureexpert.com/faq/common-aperture-questions-issues-and-r…

I did have trouble with authentication and permissions but was able to work around it. Basically, I had to edit the workflow file while it was NOT in my Library folder (it wouldn’t let me save any changes to the file while it was there.) Then, once the workflow file was as I wanted it (300 DPI), I moved it into the Library/PDF Services folder. I was required to Authenticate this modification to the PDF Services folder by putting in my computer username and password, but then everything seemed to work! Fantastic! Thank you!

However, it seems that some of the quality is lost when I use “Save PDF to folder as JPG 300 DPI.” Could it be because maybe it saves the file first to PDF, THEN to JPG? Is there some compression that occurs when saving to PDF? Is there a way to edit the “Save to PDF” workflow to make sure it is lossless so that images retain optimal quality? Thanks!

Also, if anyone has any ideas as to why my “Save PDF to folder as JPG” workflow file would have been “damaged or incomplete” in the first place, thus requiring me to replace it with the file on this website, I’d love to hear theories!

Thanks!
Jen

Jennifer Rees's picture
by Jennifer Rees
December 16, 2012 - 10:23am

Ignore my last post, I revised it but wasn’t able to submit it before the last one went up. This one is more clearly explained:

Update:

I was able to find my HD/Library/PDF Services folder. I was looking in the wrong Library (HD/Users/Jen/Library instead of HD/Library).

I discovered that the reason I was getting the error message in Aperture when I tried to “Save PDF to folder as JPG” was because the workflow file itself was damaged or incomplete in my HD/Library/PDF Services folder.

When I double clicked the “PDF to folder as JPG” workflow file in HD/Library/PDF Services, I received this error message: “The document “Save PDF to folder as JPEG.workflow” could not be opened because it is damaged or incomplete.” I received the same message when trying to open the “PDF to Aperture,” or “PDF to folder as TIFF” workflow files.

I was finally able to get my “Save PDF to folder as JPG” workflow to work, after having downloaded it from your website and replaced my existing JPG workflow file - Thanks Aperture Expert!

Here’s the link to download it from this site: http://www.apertureexpert.com/faq/common-aperture-questions-issues-and-r…

A couple notes about this download:

First, I received an error/alert message stating the following:
The behavior of this workflow may have changed because
1) The workflow was saved with an older version of the action “Rename Finder Items”
2) The workflow was saved with an older version of the action “Copy Finder Items”
I just clicked “OK” and ignored it basically and didn’t have any problems relating to these alerts after that.

However, I also had trouble with authentication and permissions but was able to work around it. Basically, I had to edit the workflow file while it was NOT in my Library folder because Automater/my computer wouldn’t let me save any changes to the workflow file while it was there IN my Library/PDF Services folder. Then, once the workflow file was as I wanted it (300 DPI), I moved it into the Library/PDF Services folder. I was required to Authenticate this modification to the PDF Services folder by putting in my computer username and password, but everything seemed to work after that! Fantastic! Thank you!

I do have one other concern, however. It seems that there is still some quality lost, even when I use “Save PDF to folder as JPG 300 DPI.” Could it be because maybe it saves the file first to PDF, THEN to JPG? Is there some compression that occurs when saving to PDF? Is there a way to edit the “Save to PDF” workflow to make sure it is lossless so that images retain optimal quality? Thanks!

Also, if anyone has any ideas as to why my “Save PDF to folder as JPG” workflow file (in my HD/Library/PDF Services folder) would have been “damaged or incomplete” in the first place, thus requiring me to replace it with the file on this website, I’d love to hear theories!

Thanks!
Jen

Elina_williams's picture
by Elina_williams
November 3, 2018 - 12:46am

Epson printers are ideal for bulk printing. Some of the printers either lose the ink after few prints or they would just stop printing. View Epson Error Code 0xf1 to find out more.

John Andy's picture
by John Andy
December 2, 2018 - 9:24pm

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