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Permlink Replies: 13 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jan 26, 2018 5:36 PM Last Post By: William Thompson
Derek

Posts: 19
Registered: 01/05/17
Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 7:48 AM
 
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Good day Community,

I'm looking to adding some charts, calculated tables and graphs to my first print and e-book. I've made these items in Google Sheets and Excel.

In order to get the best DPI possible for the final product, my process so far is this:

  • Make as large a table/graph/chart in the source program as possible (Google Sheets or Excel)
  • export the chart/graph/table into PDF format, where it will often be split across many pages in the PDF since it's larger than a standard page.
  • Use a screen clipping tool to clip them from PDF into a paint program where I piece them together to make a huge image in the paint program.
  • Save the image from the paint program into a high DPI image.
  • Import them into Word (where I'm writing my book) and size appropriately.

Although the quality is "acceptable", I'm still thinking there must be a much better way to increase the DPI and get a crisp table/chart/graph in a print book.

I'm sure I'm not the first indie author trying to add these types of things, but for some reason I can't seem to find any resources on how to streamline/improve this process.

Can anyone assist?
Donna St Felix

Posts: 6,360
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 8:50 AM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
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Some have used a snipping tool and saved it as a JPEG. Then INSERTed it into their Word.doc/PDF.

Sizing down rather than up will give you a sharper view in the book.

Size your JPEG PRIOR to inserting it.

Edited by: Donna St Felix on Jan 26, 2018 8:51 AM

Derek

Posts: 19
Registered: 01/05/17
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 8:52 AM   in response to: Donna St Felix in response to: Donna St Felix
 
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Thank you for your message.

That was my first try, it create an extremely low DPI, blurry image (not to mention it's only sized by hand, so you have inconsistency issues that you have to correct in the Word document with stretching/compression, which then causes other quality issues).
Donna St Felix

Posts: 6,360
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 8:54 AM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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Derek wrote:
Thank you for your message.

That was my first try, it create an extremely low DPI, blurry image (not to mention it's only sized by hand, so you have inconsistency issues that you have to correct in the Word document with stretching/compression, which then causes other quality issues).


See my added note above.
Derek

Posts: 19
Registered: 01/05/17
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 8:58 AM   in response to: Donna St Felix in response to: Donna St Felix
 
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When you snip an image, it creates the DPI at the resolution of your screen. Even at 1920 x 1080, using the snipping tool and then converting that to a JPG results in a very low DPI image (for print purposes), unless I'm missing something about snipping. :(

Edited by: Derek on Jan 26, 2018 8:59 AM
Donna St Felix

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Registered: 09/18/13
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 9:11 AM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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Derek wrote:
When you snip an image, it creates the DPI at the resolution of your screen. Even at 1920 x 1080, using the snipping tool and then converting that to a JPG results in a very low DPI image (for print purposes), unless I'm missing something about snipping. :(

I have found that it depends on how large it is (large it is made to be) on screen prior to the 'snip'.
There's other variables, but per what his original is, that's a N/A.
Derek

Posts: 19
Registered: 01/05/17
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 9:17 AM   in response to: Donna St Felix in response to: Donna St Felix
 
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Yes... I agree, how big the original image is on the screen is exactly my problem. With snipping, you can only "snip" what's on the screen (my max resolution in 1080p), and I find I still lose significant DPI when converting this to a print format. :(

I'm going to revisit this however and confirm there is an issue - thanks for the reply!
Donna St Felix

Posts: 6,360
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 9:22 AM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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Derek wrote:
Yes... I agree, how big the original image is on the screen is exactly my problem. With snipping, you can only "snip" what's on the screen (my max resolution in 1080p), and I find I still lose significant DPI when converting this to a print format. :(

I'm going to revisit this however and confirm there is an issue - thanks for the reply!


With very long graphs, to get them on one page, I have done three or four different snips. That divided one graph into three or four parts. I cropped to the graph tight and placed all on one page, ROTATED long way, and put a blurb under each. Example: 2017 Jan-Jun, 2017 Jul-Dec, 2018 Jan-Jun.
MR R J LAIDLER

Posts: 1,002
Registered: 09/26/16
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 9:48 AM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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Have you tried the "Print to PDF" option in Excel? This has the option to shrink the output to one page. Excel 2010 under Windows 10 can do this.
Notjohn

Posts: 24,147
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 9:48 AM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
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I think that jpegs are your best bet, and for something truly complicated, you're going to have to post it online and link to it. The very oldest Kindles may not be able to display the latter, but I had a third-generation Kindle Keyboard (2009, I think) and it did an adequate job of web browsing.

When Word saves an image, I am pretty sure it downsizes it, including when exporting to PDF. (There may be a workaround, but I prefer OpenOffice Writer for this purpose.)

For electronic display, dpi is meaningless. Pixels are all that matter. In a case such as you mention, I would upload an image 1000 pixels wide.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Derek

Posts: 19
Registered: 01/05/17
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 2:36 PM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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OK... So, thanks to those who added their suggestions, I reviewed my original practice - snipping and pasting images directly into WORD. What I found was that, by default, WORD compresses/downsizes these images.

In order to counter this, I had to find an option to NOT compress or downsize the images - and this is built right into Word.

Thank you all for the replies and helping me simplify my process/formatting.

Kind Regards,
Derek
Donna St Felix

Posts: 6,360
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 2:52 PM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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Derek wrote:
OK... So, thanks to those who added their suggestions, I reviewed my original practice - snipping and pasting images directly into WORD. What I found was that, by default, WORD compresses/downsizes these images.

In order to counter this, I had to find an option to NOT compress or downsize the images - and this is built right into Word.


You do NOT 'paste' images into Word. You INSERT them. See the insert tab.
William Thompson

Posts: 1,193
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 5:15 PM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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Here are some points which might help you to understand the important relationship between image size and resolution(image quality). This extract is taken from the Kindle Image Guidelines for ebooks from their website:

"Image resolution measures the quality and clarity of an image. For eBooks, image resolution is measured by pixels per inch (PPI). Images with high PPI (300 or higher) will be clearer than those with low PPI (less than 300).

There is a direct relationship between image PPI and image size. For example, an image that is 300 PPI at 1" x 1" (2.5 x 2.5 cm) is high-resolution. However, if you increase that image to 2" x 2" (5 x 5 cm), the resolution decreases by half to 150 PPI.

Think of PPI like blocks in a box. In image A, the blocks in the box are packed with little space around them. This is like a high-resolution(good quality) image. In image B, you place those same blocks in a larger box, and the space around the blocks increases. This is a low-resolution(poor quality) image."

The second point I must mention is that you must never resize your ebook images within Word. Doing so will degrade your image clarity by introducing pixelation. Always size or resize your ebook images outside Word using a free graphics app like irfanview.

And you must never copy and paste images directly into Word. Always use Insert > Picture to add images in Word. If you don't do it right then you will surely get poor quality images.

Please take note that everything mentioned above will affect the quality of you ebook images.

Why not try my free Sigil plugins now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport - converts ODT HTML(Writer) docs directly to epub.

NormalizeScrivEpub - reformats, finishes off and normalizes Scrivener-generated epubs

LogicalTOCStyler - allows users to easily style the Logical TOC(Device TOC) as they prefer

<p style="font-family: serif;font-size: 1em;margin: 0;margin-top: 0.2em;marg
William Thompson

Posts: 1,193
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Adding charts and graphs from Excel or Google Sheets to a print or e-book?
Posted: Jan 26, 2018 5:33 PM   in response to: Derek in response to: Derek
 
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Derek said:
Make as large a table/graph/chart in the source program as possible (Google Sheets or Excel)
export the chart/graph/table into PDF format, where it will often be split across many pages in the PDF since it's larger than a standard page.
Use a screen clipping tool to clip them from PDF into a paint program where I piece them together to make a huge image in the paint program.
Save the image from the paint program into a high DPI image.
Import them into Word (where I'm writing my book) and size appropriately.

First, PDF images are fine to use if you are creating an imprint book. But you cannot use PDF images for Kindle ebooks -- that format is not allowed.

For ebooks, just convert your PDF images to JPEG images using the free irfanview app that I've previously mentioned..
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