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#122839 - 10/24/09 12:01 AM Do .jpg files deteriorate?
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I was told that digital pictures in jpg format will degrade. Do they degrade by simply opening and closing the file or do they degrade only when you fuss with them? What about a jpg that is within a WORD file? I know I have to change to a bit file for my screen saver but my microsoft WORD says that jpg format is better quality for printing on "modern" printers. Also, if I then PDF the photo would a bit format be a lot larger file than a jpg that has been PDF'd. Also what does a PDF do to your photo?

Anyway, I have jpg photos in WORD in my guidebook and I have done a million edits. Does this affect the photos? I am not sure if it is my poor screen, but they do not look sharp anymore. I also have a pretty poor printer so I really cannot tell. Should I take them all out and go back to the originals and change to bit format?



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#122853 - 10/24/09 09:52 AM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: wandering_daisy]
bbcg59 Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 10
Loc: MO
jpg files only deteriorate when you save them again, if not "messed with" or just copied they should be fine, the degradation occurs because the jpg file is compressed, so when re-saving an already compressed file, you lose more data each time you save. To edit I would revert to original and save it in tiff or some other raw format until you have a final form you can save again to jpg format, keeping the tiff or raw original for additional edits as needed down the road.


Edited by bbcg59 (10/24/09 06:24 PM)

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#122944 - 10/26/09 07:44 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: wandering_daisy]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Keep the original file from the camera -- that's your archive image. It won't degrade unless you make pixel-level edits and then re-save it as a jpeg. The easy way to avoid this is to use a copy or use Save As when editing the photo (and not overwrite your original.)

A jpeg file imported into a Word document shouldn't degrade even when making changes to the doc, unless you edit the photo itself within Word.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#122975 - 10/27/09 12:37 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: kbennett]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
That's pretty much what I do--I never overwrite an original file.

What's new to my workflow is working with jpgs in a RAW editor to make global changes before opening them and modifying locally. All the RAW edits are housed in a "sidecar" file to the jpg and do not alter the file itself.

So much to learn [mutters to self].

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#123133 - 10/29/09 10:59 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: Rick_D]
bbcg59 Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 10
Loc: MO
They all have it correct, save the original, modify and change all you want, the original, but each save you do as a jpg, will reduce the quality.

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#123150 - 10/30/09 01:20 AM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: bbcg59]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
That is exactly correct.

The only thing I don't actually know is if MS-word actually re-saves an inline jpg each time you change the document it is in.

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#123458 - 11/06/09 08:33 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: phat]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Good question. I have edited and saved my WORD files with the photo embedded, many times. Some pictures seem OK, and other seem to degrade. I really do not know why.

I have been experimenting all week. First I used the .tif format. Big mistake. The files are so large that they totally bogged down Excel. ALso when you import into WORD, it does not give you a choice of a .tif. I copy photos to Excel and to WORD and honestly their whole set-up is designed to use jpg files. What I did discover is that you do not have to accept the default compression. My Cannon photo program allows you to specify a "0" compression for jpg files. Picture-It allows a lowest of 1% compression (it defaults to 10%). So now I have been using these options for less or no compression.

Also, it seems to me that if I add text using Picture-It the photo degrades quite a bit, whereas, if I import it into Excel and use the Excel drawing package, and then copy as a "picture" to WORD, there is less degradition.

Another problem, I think what you see on the screen is not what you get. My impression is that displaying photos takes up a lot of RAM storage and everything gets fuzzy if I do not turn off the computer and re-boot often.

The whole process is: 1) clean up raw photo, 2)crop, 3) save, 4) import into WORD - or sometimes to Excel and then to WORD, 5) PDF and 6) print. There are a lot of PDF options that I have no idea about either. This is another level of complexity. My real concern is what it looks like in step #6!

By the way I am using Microsoft XP - very old. Newer versions may have different options.

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#123983 - 11/18/09 12:08 AM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
I know you didn't ask this but . . .

It's truly amazing what can be done within a word processor. And yet, for a book (I believe that is what you are working on), it may be worth getting something like Adobe InDesign or other software that is really made for publishing. You just don't have the layout capability -- nor the guarantee that something won't come back quirky after having gotten it right on the screen and saved it.

One alternative to learning it yourself is to get things close and then have someone who does that kind of thing do the actual pre-press layout. This could be especially worthwhile for D-I-Y publishing where the printer doesn't look, check or care what your output is like.

I'm looking forward to your book and am glad to see that you are moving ahead with working on it.
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#124019 - 11/18/09 07:03 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: Keith]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
I haven't truthed this for Word, but it may be possible to link to photos rather than imbedding them. That's how InDesign does it--what you see on screen is a thumbnail of the source file. In this way you can make changes to the photo and they're automatically incorporated in the document.

If not true for Word, simply re-insert the photos from the source files before going to press to ensure they're first-generation copies. (Not so easy if there are hundreds.)

Cheers,

Originally Posted By Keith
I know you didn't ask this but . . .

It's truly amazing what can be done within a word processor. And yet, for a book (I believe that is what you are working on), it may be worth getting something like Adobe InDesign or other software that is really made for publishing. You just don't have the layout capability -- nor the guarantee that something won't come back quirky after having gotten it right on the screen and saved it.

One alternative to learning it yourself is to get things close and then have someone who does that kind of thing do the actual pre-press layout. This could be especially worthwhile for D-I-Y publishing where the printer doesn't look, check or care what your output is like.

I'm looking forward to your book and am glad to see that you are moving ahead with working on it.
_________________________
--Rick

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#124034 - 11/19/09 12:13 AM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: Keith]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Thanks for the suggestions. I am going on the cheap for now. I am proofing off my pdf files and the mock-up of my first draft that the printer made appears to look fine. My printer-publisher is a real person who I can talk to - much better than internet printers. He will do more layout, but for a price. At this point, I am still inclined to do this myself.

WORD does allow you to keep the photos outside of the document and link it. I do a lot of adjusting of size on the photos while I edit the text so having them in the document works well. For example, if I add a sentence, then I just crop a line's height off the photo. I am really trying to keep the book strictly within a specified page limit.

The latest quirk I ran across is that an imported "Picture as meta-file" with a border drawn in WORD looks fine in WORD, but when I pdf, the border turns into a dotted line, no matter what PDF options I use! I noticed that if the "picture as metafile" was assigned a "tight right" layout, then I got my solid line back in the pdf. So now I assign all meta-files this format even if they are full page graphics. Go figure? I have no idea why this works.

Yes, I think a real professional would know why all this stuff happens. I just trail and error until I get something to work.


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#124177 - 11/22/09 12:07 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: wandering_daisy]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy

Yes, I think a real professional would know why all this stuff happens. I just trail and error until I get something to work.


Hah! you assume the real professionals aren't in the same boat!

And in then end I'd think I'd rather have your Winds guidebook than one written by a Microsoft Word Professional...
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#125035 - 12/11/09 02:50 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: phat]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Daisy,
It's amazing what can be done in a word processor. (I don't happen to use Word not only because of an anti-MS bias but also because it isn't as functional as some others). But if you are doing a book, I'd really suggest you get In-Design and Photoshop. If you don't know these programs, spend $25 for a month of Lynda's training videos. You'll probably not spend more time than you do poking around with Word trying to make it work.

I've used a word processor to make output adequate for some "instant print" publications. I even did my Dad's account of his and my uncle's 11,000 mile tandem bike trip around the US back in the '30s. But really, if in-text photos are part of what you are doing, consider using a real layout program. I'm going to be doing a technical manual soon and I'll be using InDesign for that.

I do have experience in commercial publishing so am also giving you a "voice of experience" from that standpoint, as well.

Also there are people who do layout for reasonable amounts -- especially if you have a really good model already done. That might be cheaper than the software.

I can give you a couple names if you want.
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#125207 - 12/14/09 07:27 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: Keith]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Thanks Keith for the suggestions. I now have the book PDF done. I certainly did not use the most efficient methods, but am pleased with the final result. If I ever decide to do this again, I would probably get better software or hire out the finish work. I did learn a lot! I learned that value of people who edit and do layout. Right now I am on such a tight budget that I have had to limp along with what I had.

I am looking into community college course on digital photography too. I sure would like to learn how to customize my camera settings and really know about how colors are handled in the process of camera-to-computer-to-printer. Really sounds complicated when I try to read about it on the internet.

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#125278 - 12/15/09 01:19 PM Re: Do .jpg files deteriorate? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Daisy,
I don't know if it's your learning style or not, but the online courses at www.Lynda.com are really pretty cheap. I have subscribed and will probably subscribe again. You can learn a lot in a month for $26
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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