Straightening & Scripting
This is the fourth installment of Paper to Pixel to Paper Again, a series that explains (in an overly thorough manner) the how-to's of preparing artwork of all stripes for print.
We have only been able to put this together because of the support of our patrons, both subscribers on Patreon, and by one-time donators to our Living the Line Paypal account. Thank you so much for your support! We couldn't do it without your generosity.
If you haven't done so yet, please go back and read the previous installments.
In our last installment, we scanned your masterpiece (1200 pixels per inch [ppi] for your at-size sources of art, 600 ppi for your very large original artwork that will be reduced for print). Then we discussed some general principles of file organization, and how not to get lost in a digital maze of files.
Today we'll use Photoshop to take your raw scan, and generate an "Action" that can do the first stages of page work for your entire book.
I've said it before, but computers do a few things much better than human beings. One of those virtues—carrying out complex commands unerringly, for an unlimited amount of repetitions. If there is a task you will need to do more than once, you should consider making an "Action" or script for it, and saving it to run the next time the issue arises. Something that saves you even a minute per page ends up saving you ten hours (!) over the course of a 600 page book. So use your time wisely.
A paragraph on Adobe Creative Cloud—Adobe is a great software manufacturer who makes an invaluable suite of graphics products, all of which are available simultaneously under a reasonably affordable subscription plan. They also strike a good balance between continually updating their products, and not pulling the rug out from under us oldsters who are used to something functioning in a certain way. I'm going to use Adobe products, namely Lightroom and Photoshop and Indesign, for these demonstrations, because it's what I know; but the basic principles could be carried out with any well-designed graphics program. These just happen to be the best I know.
One Last Prep Before We Go
Okay, remember what I said about saving time through automation?
Let's add an extra step before we tackle these scans.