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Warped text.


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I am in the process of copying a sale catalogue for farms of an estate that was held in the U.K. in 1920. Unfortunately I am unable to scan the pages because it was a very large sale with 70+ pages in the catalogue and I wouldn't want to de-staple the catalogue. And so I have photographed each individual page. Of course I have then had to edit the images both for lightness, background (I have changed them all into B/W), sharpness of photos, etc. I am reasonably conversant with PSE 8 and although I have nearly finished I have hit a problem and wondered if anyone would be able to help me please ?

My problem is that because I photographed all the pages lots of the details have come out as warped because although I tried to eliminate it some of the pages were obviously not flat when I took the photos. The biggest problem has been blocks of text and so far when I have encountered a warped block of text I have used the Rectangular Marquee Tool to outline the text and then have used the Image>Transform>then either the Free Transform or Distort option to pull the corners of the text or to re-position it.

But I can't find out how to straighten a warped block of text such as I have shown below. Even if I try using the Distort option I can't get the dip out of the block. I can pull the corners of each side down but that doesn't get rid of the dip in the centre. If anyone could help me with this annoying problem I would be very grateful.

Text.JPG
 

JeffK

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HI -
Used Edit - Transform - Warp. Carefully pulled on corners and centers.
Pulled some guidelines down from the rulers to assess the straightening effect.
Filled in any gaps on the edges with the cloning tool.
Don't know how many of these you have to do but only need a few minutes with each.
- Jeff

warped text edited.jpg
 
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Firstly thank you for taking the trouble to try and help me. Much appreciated. I think I may have a problem since I am using PSE8 and to get to Transform I have to go to Image. Then I have the Transform option but when that opens there isn't a Warp option, only Free Transform, Skew, Distort, and Perspective. I have been using Distort mostly with a few Free Transforms on the simple things. Is Warp likely to be anywhere else on PSE8 please ?
 

JeffK

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Drat. The warp tool didn't come out until the next version (CS2). Couldn't find another tool in your version that works like warp tool and can't find any plug-ins either. Maybe others will dig in deeper.

Other options - not sure how much of this work you do. My wife works for a publishing company that does a lot of public domain reprints - which means they scan a lot of old bound books and reproduces them. They use Sllverfast AI but that may be more firepower than you need.

I did find an open source free program, ScanTailor. It has a dewarping function that seems to be what you need. You can read about this in their online User Guide.

1611079518181.png

Let me know if this is of any help. I'll continue to search.

- Jeff
 
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Thank you Jeff. That book scanning is pretty impressive. And thank you for finding ScanTailor for me, I'll have a look at that. The catalogue is actually 72 pages long and I am down to the last 10 pages but because I didn't take enough care over the "flatness" of the last few pages that's why I have the "curved page" problem. I initially asked the problem on here thinking that I was being stupid in not being able to find a warping function but if it wasn't available until CSS came along then that's my bad luck. This is the first time that I have ever used PSE for anything like this, I am usually just brightening photos. etc. It has been quite a learning curve but it's amazing what I have been able to do with my version. Of course some of the text is faded in the catalogue but in changing the pages into B/W and then going into Newspaper mode I found that I could darken the text significantly. You do get the background effect when you do that but fortunately I found that magic Background Eraser Tool. Setting that was a bit of a challenge but I mastered it (or at least acheived what I wanted to !). Thanks again Jeff. Kind regards - David.
 

JeffK

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As we used to say in our shop, the only dumb question is the one that isn't asked! We're all here as much to do some good work as well as to continue to learn.
Photoshop is also a program that gives you several different ways to do the same thing. Just have to learn how to use them where they're appropriate.
Any additional help you need, don't hesitate to ask!
- Jeff
 
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Thank you Jeff, you have been very kind. if you ever need to know how to plough a field, set a combine, or shear a sheep then all you have to do is ask me. 😅 Kind regards and stay safe - David.
 

thebestcpu

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Hi @classictractor
Hope one of the options suggestions by @JeffK works or you.
It is difficult to always get the functionality you need especially since PSE8 is about 11 years old. Just takes more work with older software yet I understand the desire not to puchase new software or 10 pages.
Here is an alternative to consider which may or may not work or all of you situations an is some added work.
Just split the image up into components that will work with the distort transformation.

What I did in the image below is split the left side and right side of the image and then applied the distort transformation on the right side and left side of the two separate layers respectively to bend them up. Had to be careful to have the text match pretty well.

Just one more way to consider within the context of using PSE8
Hope this helps
John Wheeler

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 1.23.06 PM.png
 
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Hello @thebestcpu (how do you do that on this Forum - I had to do it manually just then) Firstly, thank you for your help, it is very much appreciated. Yes, I know I should upgrade my PSE, it is a relic of an old pc that I had and my Son built this present one for me, that's his profession, with lots of memory, SSD, etc. etc. and stuff just got transferred over. The problem is that I normally only use PSE for stitching scans together and I get on quite well with that. But I will investigate. With regard to your help with my warped text, I have been doing exactly what you have suggested. I have a catalogue for this huge auction sale that took place in 1920 and I have it because my Grandfather purchased one of the farms on the estate. There were 17 farms sold over the two day auction together with cottages, woodland, paddocks, gardens, etc. In fact there were 82 lots altogether spanning 3,600 acres which is not that much by today's standards but 100 years ago a 100 acre farm was quite a large farm.

Anyway, I had got down to the last 10 pages of the catalogue using the Distort technique as well as changing the pages to B/W amd playing with light & dark levels and the one that I have shown a sample of was the worst one for straightening up. I had been splitting paragraphs, and even lines, and then using the Distort option and if it was just a tilt error I have used the Free Transform,both after using the Marquee Tool to determine the area. I have found that using gridlines has also been a great help . With my 3 score years and ten eyes (plus a few more years !) I need all the help I can get !

Anyway, thanks again for all your help, as we say in the countryside, there's nothing better than an in the field repair !
 
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Just my luck !! :cry: Went to Install Scan Tailor and found this :SC.JPG And guess what AV program I use !!!! Yup, Norton 360. I installed SC and tried it anyway but it wouldn't/couldn't find any of my pages which are all JPEGs.

Does anyone know of any other utility that will de-warp blocks/paragraphs/sentences of text please ? Thanks in advance for any replies and/or help.
 

thebestcpu

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Hi @classictractor
Here is an alternative to consider and still use Scan Tailor (fingers crossed)
Just convert you files to another format. The docs for Scan Taylor indicates supported files types are *.tif, *.tiff, *.png, *.jpg, *.jpeg)
So convert to PNG or TIF/TIFF file and maybe it will work.
Worth a try
John Wheeler
 

JeffK

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HI David -
I did spend some time today trying to find an alternative - all roads seemed to circle back to ScanTailor. There is an advanced version that came out in 2020 but might have the same limitation.
You can try @thebestcpu suggestion above. You can also try - if you feel it's worth the risk - to turn off your antivirus, launch the program, get your work done, then restart your AV software and do a virus scan.
Keep in mind it's open sourceware so that may be too risky.
I use Malwarebytes myself on both my, and my wife's, laptop. Again,this all comes down to risk vs reward.
If there are specific pages that you need help with, don't hesitate to post them for some help. Lot of talent on the forums that are able to assist.
Let us know if you managed to work out a solution.
- Jeff
 
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Good morning Jeff and many thanks for your continued help. I did put my brain into gear last evening and wondered if the following would work. Supposing I load my JPEGs into PSE and then save them in another format (PNG ? RAW ? PING ? TIFF ?), save them in a new folder in case it doesn'r work, and then try Scan Tailor again with the new files ? I have never worked with any of those file formats but I thouht it might be worth a try. I am very reluctant to turn Norton off. My Son buys a multiple-user version for his company and lets me have module but if I turn it off and it all goes wrong then he will be unmerciful towards me because he knows that ultimately he would have to come and fix my pc !

Thanks again for all your help. Kind regards - David.
 
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Hi @classictractor
Here is an alternative to consider and still use Scan Tailor (fingers crossed)
Just convert you files to another format. The docs for Scan Taylor indicates supported files types are *.tif, *.tiff, *.png, *.jpg, *.jpeg)
So convert to PNG or TIF/TIFF file and maybe it will work.
Worth a try
John Wheeler
Apologies John, I followed the latest link and answered Jeff's contribution before I read yours. Great minds ? Not in my case LOL
Many thanks John, much appreciated. I will report back.
Kind regards - David.
 
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I changed one of the JPEGs to a TIF format, then downloaded Scan Tailor, and now I am doing battle with that ! I have got the file loaded into a project (it is just one page) and have Selected Content (just one paragraph to start with) but struggling to see how to "de-warp" it. Looks like I'm going to have to read the manual ! Human brains all work differently !

But I will persevere and report back later today. In the meantime many thanks yet again. I just know we are going to get somewhere with this.

Kind regards - David.
 
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Drat ! My sincere apologies to all of you, I feel as if I have been wasting your time a bit on this. I have spent the best part of 3 hours with Scan Tailor today and went through the de-warping routime but, if I'm honest, I didn't get on very well with it. It might work better on complete pages of text but I tried a couple of paragraphs and, well if I'm honest, I didn't fimd it very user friendly. I know it is a freebie and as such I should be grateful but I have decided to go back to the Transform and Distort options in PSE. They aren't true de-warping functions but I am quite conversant with using that method. It means that sometimes I even have to split lines of text with the Marquee tool but because I have done so much already, and not likely to have to do it again, that's the way ahead for me.

Once again I would like to thank all those who have tried to help me. Kind regards - David.
 

JeffK

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Drat ! My sincere apologies to all of you, I feel as if I have been wasting your time a bit on this. I have spent the best part of 3 hours with Scan Tailor today and went through the de-warping routime but, if I'm honest, I didn't get on very well with it. It might work better on complete pages of text but I tried a couple of paragraphs and, well if I'm honest, I didn't fimd it very user friendly. I know it is a freebie and as such I should be grateful but I have decided to go back to the Transform and Distort options in PSE. They aren't true de-warping functions but I am quite conversant with using that method. It means that sometimes I even have to split lines of text with the Marquee tool but because I have done so much already, and not likely to have to do it again, that's the way ahead for me.
Once again I would like to thank all those who have tried to help me. Kind regards - David.
As Bruce Lee once said after disappointing his audience by knocking out a wrestler with a right cross instead of a karate kick - "I use what works."
No time wasted at all and we're all glad to help.
Onward to the next project!
- Jeff
 
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As Bruce Lee once said after disappointing his audience by knocking out a wrestler with a right cross instead of a karate kick - "I use what works."
No time wasted at all and we're all glad to help.
Onward to the next project!
- Jeff
That is very true. The next project is the plans that were part of the sale. I would like to copy them but they are approximately 1m x 0.75m and quite delicate. Also been folded for 100 years which doesn't help. I have only got an A4 scanner so will have to get them scanned or photographed somehow. I have tried attaching one to a mirror and taking piccies with my camera on a tripod but I can't get a good enough definition. Regards - David.
 

JeffK

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Hi David
Depending on the quality you want, final files, and budget - look for a shop that does architectural or large format scanning. They have oversized flatbeds that can accommodate your document and can provide prints or digital files in whatever format you might need.

Some of them might even have book scanners which are most interesting machines.


Good luck with this!
- Jeff
 

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