Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fix scans in Judges Guild PDF's

This is mainly for my own reference, but some of you might also find it useful. The RPGnow PDF's of original Judges Guild products—like the Ready Ref Sheets—were made from low-contrast grayscale scans. They read OK on screen, but don't print cleanly. If you have a Linux box (or any OS with a recent ImageMagick version) this command will produce a cleaner printing PDF:

convert -density 300 -brightness-contrast 0%x90% JGld-ReadyRefSheets.pdf readyrefsheets-contrasty.pdf

That grinds my machine to a halt for several minutes, so you might want to lower the priority level of the process with nice. If you have an older version of ImageMagick, you may be able to achieve similar results using the -contrast-stretch option instead of -brightness-contrast. If you have a better way to achieve similar results, I'd like to know. Thanks.


  1. Nice work Paul. Great to see ye olde school command line in use on an old school blog. :)

  2. That's how I roll.

    You could do the same thing with Photoshop or maybe Gimp, but it would involve a lot more manual labor.