This is technically the Part 2 to the FAQ “My ‘Jane’ page is printing too light, what do I do?“
However, we’re going to be covering some basic Photoshop techniques that I use all the time. So we’re going to call this a DIY tutorial, too.
If you don’t have Photoshop, and don’t know a guy who knows a guy, the Levels setting can be found in just about any photo editing software worth its salt, and it works basically the same. So fish around in your photo editing program to find a tool that looks kind of like the one we’re using here.
The Problem & The Goal
The problem some people face after downloading the Lady Jane the Grey pages is that they just can’t seem to get their print dark enough to suit their liking.
Part One covers finding the magic words “Color” and “Quality” in your print settings on various programs, and in most cases this will do the trick.
This technique is for power users. Those who want total finite control over their level of grey-i-tude.
So the goal is to make our page darker.
Open up the JPG in question in photoshop. We’ll go from there.
What Levels Are
This is actually a photographer question. I learned this trick from an Adjunct Professor who was only there to teach us digital photography for one semester before she went on to continue her photography career. Levels are a simple magic.
In short, the levels tool adjusts the black point and the white point of an image. That’s all we really need to know for the purposes of this tutorial, but if you are super nerdy (like me) and want to be sufficiently sidetracked (I mean educated), you can click here.
For now, though, all we need to know is that under Images > Adjustments (or by hitting command-L) we have this handy tool, and all you have to do is slide the leftmost little triangle doohicky to the right.
Voila. Total greyness control.
In case you’re wondering: This is totally allowed under my “personal use” guidelines. By all means edit this file to suit your personal needs. All I ask is that you don’t resell whatever you end up with. TY good buddy. Moving on. . .
You can even take the file all the way to black, if you like.
Keep in mind, though, with great power comes great responsibility.
Don’t go too far. You’ll get yucky pixelated JPG gunk. I don’t recommend going any further than the first little spike.
“Saving As” Your Work
I don’t recommend saving over the original file. If you get a new printer someday there’s a good chance you’ll want to start from scratch. So instead of hitting “save” we’re going to create a new file using “save as.”
Name your new file something appropriate. You could add “darker” to the end, or maybe the model of the printer you’re using. Whatever works for you.
You can just hit the save button from here if you are a user of the JPGs, but if you’re more into printing from PDFs, or want to use PDF Split & Merge later to do some mix-n-matching, you can save as a PDF from here, too.
Just change the format from “JPG” to “ Photoshop PDF” and hit Save. You’ll get the following screen.
The only setting here I ever change is the Preserve Photoshop Editing checkbox. I always make sure it’s unchecked to keep file size as down as possible. In this specific case it’s pretty well useless, anyway, since we don’t have any photoshop layers to preserve.
That’s it for this specific goal. Try printing your file from here and make sure it works for you. Feel free to repeat as necessary. You have complete control this way. Enjoy phenomenal cosmic greyscale power.