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  VENTAFAX virtual printer  

After the software has been installed, a virtual VENTAFAX printer is added to the system. VENTAFAX printer is a tool for generating facsimile documents ready to be sent by the VentaFax software package (by fax modem or e-mail). Printing to a VENTAFAX printer generates a graphics file in TIFF format.

The VENTAFAX printer generates color faxes (24 bits per pixel) as well as black-and-white faxes (1 bit per pixel). Black-and-white faxes have two resolution options (200*200 or 200*100 dpi). Color faxes can only be generated with a 200*200 dpi resolution.

The final appearance of the faxes you generate depends on the printer settings. Let's review these settings in detail:

Color printing mode (to access it, from the Windows Taskbar select Start - Settings - Printers - VentaFax - Properties - Printing options - More).

Monochrome. Generates black-and-white faxes. Color graphics contained in the image document will be converted to black-and-white graphics by applying 'halftone conversion', which uses special palette patterns. These patterns are set by the Halftone rendering setting. In the actual fax, color graphics may be displayed with a visible regular grid pattern. As a rule, text is displayed in black, irrespective of its color. However, some programs (Adobe Reader, for example) render color text the same way as they do color graphics, by using palette patterns.

Photographic halftones. Generates black-and-white faxes. To render the halftones, an area is filled with black-and-white dots in a pseudo-random manner. This option is well-suited for situations when it is necessary to accurately transmit images contained in a document. This algorithm is applied to the entire document, that is, color symbols will also be composed of black-and-white dots (they won't all be black as in the Monochrome option). The size of the generated file, as well as transmission time, can be significantly greater than with the Monochrome option.

True Color (24 bits). Generates color faxes. A color fax can be transmitted in color or in black and white form, depending on the capabilities of the receiving fax.

Whichever setting you select for the Color printing mode, you will have a number of patterns available to select in the Halftone rendering setting. These patterns will be used by the virtual printer when converting the original document having a high resolution into lower resolution facsimile graphics. The pattern selection can affect the visual quality of the document as viewed by the receiving side.
If the document consists of only black text on white background, the generated fax will look exactly the same regardless of the choice of halftone rendering mode.

If the document consists of only black text on a white background, the generated fax will look exactly the same regardless of which halftone rendering mode has been selected.

The Paper/Quality tab (to access it, from the Windows Taskbar select Start - Settings - Printers - VentaFax - Properties - Printing options).

This tab lets you choose the right printing options quickly and easily.

Black-and-white

Best – 200*200 dpi. Photographic halftones.
Standard – 200*200 dpi. Halftones are rendered using patterns.
Draft – 200*100 dpi. Halftones are rendered using patterns.

Color

Standard – 200*200 dpi

Compression of color faxes

File format (the type of file as given by the filename extension) should not be confused with the method of data compression used. The file format is always TIFF (filename extension TIF), but file data can be compressed in different ways. There are a number of compression methods.

If you are creating a document to be sent by fax, use LZW compression (the default setting). Conversion into the format required for transmitting a color fax is performed at the time of transmission. LZW method provides compression with no reduction in quality. This is particularly important if the color fax you create will be sent to different fax machines and if it is not known beforehand whether they operate in color mode or in black-and-white only. The highest quality of black-and-white faxes is achieved when the original color fax has been generated without reduction in quality.

If you are creating a fax document to be sent by e-mail and have concerns about traffic (yours or the recipient's), then the choice between LZW and JPEG (YCbCr) compression methods will depend on the contents of the original document. If this document contains large pictures, the file size will be significantly lower when using JPEG compression (JPEG might produce a file of a few hundred KB where LZW would be a few MB). However, for an original document containing no large images of photographic quality (for instance, only text with a few color diagrams), LZW could be superior to JPEG. One argument in favor of LZW, in this case, is that TIFF files compressed with this method can be viewed using standard Windows tools. In contrast, to view TIFF files compressed with JPEG one would need additional image viewing software having advanced features (for example, ACDSee Image Viewer). On the other hand, if you use the "convert into PDF format" option when sending your fax by e-mail, then Adobe Reader will let the recipient view a PDF rendering of the file regardless of the compression method used. Needless to say, VentaFax possesses the tools necessary for working with both of these formats.

Note: PDF files generated by VentaFax can be opened with Adobe Reader. However, VentaFax can open only those PDF files that were created with VentaFax.

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