Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do you need the FirmTools PhotoPrinter?
- What image file formats are supported?
- How to start?
- Selecting images to print
- How to select image files?
- How can I view image files?
- How to add images to the print list?
- How to remove images from the print list?
- How can I arrange images on the page?
- How do I know if the image is current?
- Can I use keyboard keys to arrange images?
- How can I set the image size to fit the page?
- How can I change the page orientation?
- How to synchronize images to one scale?
- How to use Preferences dialog?
- What is the algorithm of resizing?
Why do you need the FirmTools PhotoPrinter?
Firm Tools PhotoPrinter is a HiTech professional utility to get a high quality prints from images of 12 most popular formats. We used our own algorithm of resizing, which gives you a possibility to get prints of a HIGHER quality than in many advanced professional programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Our product users can also save money on expensive photo paper and time using the automatic optimal image arrangement feature.
What image file formats are supported?
The program gives you a possibility to process and print out images of the following formats:
- BMP, DIB - Windows bit-mapped graphics format;
- EMF - Enhanced Windows Metafile;
- FPX - Kodak Flash Pix;
- GIF - Graphic Interchange Format, a bit-mapped graphics file format widely used in the iinternet;
- JPG - Joint Photographic Expert Group format, a lossy compression technique for color images;
- MSP - Microsoft Paint;
- PCD - Kodak Photo CD;
- PNG - Portable Network Graphics format;
- PSD - Adobe Photoshop (read-only);
- TGA - Truevision Advanced Raster Graphics Adapter (TARGA);
- TIF - Universal Graphic Format for PC and Mac platforms.
How to start?
- Click the "Start" button on the Windows taskbar;
- Select "Programs" in the Start menu;
- Select "FirmTools" and then "PhotoPrinter".
You'll get to the FirmTools PhotoPrinter welcome page.
Selecting images to print
How to select image files?
On the welcome page:
Click the "Open folder" icon and select the folder that contains your images;
- To select the folder use standard "Up", "Back" and "Forward" buttons;
- Double-click the folder to open it.
Click the image to view it in the Image preview area. You will also see the image properties in the preview area.
How can I view image files?
You will see the preview of the image if you select it in the list. You can change the view of the list using the "Toggle views" icon. By default images in the list will be shown as thumbnails.
How to add images to the print list?
To add images to the Print list you can:
- Drag and drop images to the print list;
- Double click the image;
- Or click the icon.
How to remove images from the print list?
Images can be removed only from the "Files to print" window. Select one or several images and click either the "Delete" button or icon to remove images.
Image color enhancement
How to enhance image colors?
To enhance image colors select image in the Print list and click the
icon on the main page.
The image colors enhancement dialog displays.
Here you can enhance colors of an image in two modes: Auto and Manual.
To enhance image colors in the Auto mode use Auto level adjustment button.
- You can change color characteristics in all channels (RGB). For that select "All" in the Current channel area and then apply Auto level adjustment;
- You also can change color characteristics in the selected channel (RGB). For that select the necessary channel and then apply Auto level adjustment.
- Your image colors will be improved in a few seconds. To undo the changes click Undo auto levels.
Save the changes to the image file or locally within PhotoPrinter.
To enhance image colors in the Manual mode:
- Select the channel (RGB) or All channels in the Current channel area;
- Set color characteristics moving the appropriate slider (use Reset button to reset changes);
Save the changes to the image file or locally within PhotoPrinter.
If you don't want to save the changes click "Cancel" button or simply close the dialog.
Please note that when you save changes locally within PhotoPrinter the changes will be saved until next color modification.
Positioning images on the page
How can I arrange images on the page?
You can arrange images in Auto and Manual modes on the PhotoPrinter Images arrangement wizard page.
To arrange images automatically simply click the icon.
In the Auto mode images will be arranged optimally on the page.
How do I know if the image is current?
The current image has the green border; all other images have blue borders. When you select the image its border color switches from blue to green.
Can I use keyboard keys to arrange images?
You can use standard keyboard keys and their combinations to move and position your images during the manual images arrangement process.
Delete - delete selected image (s);
Arrows - move current image in any direction;
Shift+arrows - quickly move current image;
"+"/"-" - scale up / scale down current image;
Shift + "+"/"-" - fast scale up / scale down;
Ctrl+a - select all images on the page.
How can I set the image size to fit the page?
Select the "Scale to fit media" check box to change the images size to fit the page. Clear the check box to undo the change.
How can I change the page orientation?
Click the or the icon to set the needed page orientation.
How to synchronize images to one scale?
If you want to synchronize all images to the scale of a selected image click icon.
All images will be brought to the scale of the selected image.
How to use Preferences dialog?
Preferences dialog enables you to change the parameters for the Auto arrangement mode.
- Allow/disallow the rotation of images during the process of auto arrangement;
- Allow/disallow optimization of the image size to use the page space the best way.
Simply select or clear an appropriate check box.
Default settings are: Image rotation is not allowed and Image size optimization is allowed.
- Set the image border (spacing), enter the value and choose the unit type (inches, cms, points);
- Increase printing quality using Print buffer size box and Resize type list.
Type in the necessary buffer size, please note that the buffer size increase will slow down the processing speed. The optimal buffer size is set by default and is equal to 16 MB.
What is the algorithm of resizing?
Our own algorithm of resizing is the main feature that makes difference of our product. It resizes your images so that you can get high quality prints with a small sized images.
You can change some parameters of this feature in the Preferences dialog.
You can use 3 types of resizing:
- Nearest neighbor - elementary and fastest;
- Linear - processes every pixel of an image separately;
- Prediction (by default) - allows you to get the best quality prints, considers every object of the image (slowest).
How to print out images?
You can set Printer properties in the Print dialog before you print images out.
For that click the "Printer properties" button and select necessary settings.
When you finished the arrangement of images you can print them out.
For that click the "Print" button at the bottom of the Images arrangement page.
How can I increase the quality of prints?
You can increase the quality of your prints:
- Set the "Resize type" to "Predictional" in the Preferences dialog;
- Increase the print quality by moving the slider (the printer buffer size will change accordingly, showing you the buffer size necessary to get prints of a specified quality).
Please note that the buffer size can vary for different sized images. Buffer size increase will slow down the image processing speed.
By default the "Print quality" is set to 80%.
Can I run FirmTools PhotoPrinter on my Windows 95 (or NT)?
If you meet problems when installing FirmTools PhotoPrinter on Windows 95 or NT -- the most probable reason is that you have Microsoft Internet Explorer version prior to 4.0.
We do not support Windows 95 or NT, but you can try to download and install the DCOM library and try to install and run the product.