barcode dll for vb net 9: Becoming a Master Printer in Software

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CHAPTER 9: Becoming a Master Printer
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Engineered primarily as heavy-duty document machines, laser models have long been the leading technology for office printing, but in the past they have not rivaled inkjet or dye-sub machines for photo quality. Because imaging is becoming increasingly important in office settings, laser manufacturers are now paying more attention to photo-printing capabilities. Although photo quality still lags slightly behind inkjet and dye-sub output, it s getting closer to the mark every year. In fact, I daresay that if you weren t comparing prints from the various technologies side by side, you d probably be pretty satisfied with your laser photos. Color lasers don t come cheap, however; $700 is about the minimum you can expect to pay. Remember that you re buying a highly capable document machine for that price, not just a photo printer. In addition, most laser printers offer document collating, two-sided printing, networking capabilities, and other features that are important in an office environment.
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(Photo courtesy Minolta-QMS, Inc.)
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FIGURE 9.2 New laser printers such as this model from Minolta-QMS offer greatly improved photo-printing capabilities than earlier generations of lasers.
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Sorting Through Printer Specs
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Choosing a printer technology is the easy part of printer shopping. Finding the right printer in a particular category is a little more difficult. To help you narrow the field, the following list offers advice about the various specifications and features that you ll encounter when you browse the printer aisles.
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For inkjet printers, don t accept anything less than four ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Printers that skip the black do a poor job reproducing shadows. Six- and seven-color inkjets deliver even better photos than four-color printers.
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COST CUTTER
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Ink costs are usually lower with a printer that uses separate ink cartridges for each color. With multi-color cartridges, you often run out of one color before the others are gone, leading to ink waste.
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Shoot Like a Pro!
Print Speed
Check the printer specs to find out how long you ll have to wait for your pictures to appear each time you click the Print button. Understand, though, that manufacturer data gives you a best-case scenario, and printing at the highest quality setting may be significantly slower.
Borderless Printing
Some printers can produce borderless prints, while others insist on adding a small margin of paper around the image. With some models, you must use special paper that has perforated tabs around the edges to get a borderless print. The tabs provide the printer with something to grab onto as the paper passes along the print path. After printing, you tear away the tabs.
Card Input
Many photo printers offer slots that enable you to print directly from your memory card. Most printers offer slots for CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards only, so if you use some other type of card, double-check to be sure that the printer offers a matching slot.
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Printers that have memory-card slots can serve as a card reader. When computer and printer are connected, you can copy files from the card to your computer s hard drive as you would from a floppy disk or CD-ROM.
Direct Printing with DPOF
Most new photo printers and digital cameras offer a feature known as Digital Print Order Format, or DPOF (dee-poff) for short. DPOF enables you to include printer instructions in an image file. When you print directly from a memory card, the printer reads the DPOF data and automatically prints the images according to your specifications.
CHAPTER 9: Becoming a Master Printer
Preview Monitor
Printers that have memory card slots sometimes also offer a tiny monitor that you can use to review your images and select photos for printing. If you plan on printing directly from your memory card on a regular basis, the monitor is a great feature. In some cases, you can even do basic editing, such as cropping the picture, using the monitor as a guide.
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