Ack! This site is moving to tomhorsley.com since Comcast's efforts to improve their world's worst customer service ranking apparently include terminating web hosting for their existing customers.
Kewpie is the end result of my
Adventures in DVD Printing. I started by trying to discover how
to tweak the CUPS
Hopefully the user interface isn't too dreadful. The screen shows a print preview image of what would print if you pressed the print button. The central view has the dimension of the page from the printer definition with the margins shown in pink and the image shown to scale as it would print with the defined margins on the page. As in all apps, the icons are mostly meaningless, but you can hover over them to get tooltips and status bar messages.
The typical work flow consists of first running the Print
Setup action to bring up the Qt print dialog, select a printer,
adjust the margins, select the printer tray, etc. After selecting all
the printer options you can, if desired, save the printer information
in a config file (which, by default, will go to the
After the printer is defined, you can use Load Image to
load an image file to be printed. The preview changes to show the
image. Kewpie always rescales the image to fit inside the margins on
the page. If you don't want the image distorted, make sure the aspect
ratio of the image matches the printable page size. If you don't want
the printout fuzzy, make sure the resolution of the image is high
enough to privide a good result in the eventual printout. You can
preload an image with the
All that is left is to press the Print button which sends
the image to the printer. If you use the
Some other command line options are available as well. Here is the
usage: kewpie [-config file] [-image file] [-batch] [-version] [-help] -config Name of the printer config to load -image Name of the image to print -batch Operate in batch mode, no GUI windows -version Print version and exit -help Print this help and exit kewpie is a utility for printing images with precise margins. Primarily designed for printing DVDs and CDs, but not restricted to that. Home page: http://home.comcast.net/~tomhorsley/software/kewpie/kewpie.html
Kewpie has absolutely no drawing capabilities. All it can do is print an image created somewhere else. GIMP and Inkscape are both likely candidates for generating an image. For my DVD printing work, I have been generating images with 300DPI resolution and 118 millimeters in diameter (yes, DVDs and CDs are 120mm, but printable media all seem to have a 1mm non-printable ring around the edge).
Once you calibrate your printer margin settings and save them in a config file, you will be able to print DVDs centered precisely on the media. If your printer is an all-in-one device, it can be very handy to print a test image, then pop it into the scanner and use the GIMP measuring tool to pick off how much you need to shift the margins to get the image to come out centered. Once you get close, you can use a ruler or just eyeball the results and apply ever decreasing tweaks to the margins until it comes out exactly right (it shouldn't use up more than a half dozen media to finally get it perfect :-).
Note that the config files will probably be unique to a single system and printer since they incorporate (among other things) the printer name.
The Qt toolkit does not provide a easy way to save and restore absolutely all of the printer setting. Many settings are in operating system dependent separate tabs in the printer setup dialog. It may be a good idea to define multiple copies of the same printer with different built in default settings. For example, on my system I have two different printer defs for the same physical HP Photosmart C5580 printer. One is named C5500-DVD and has the defaults setup to print 120mm DVDs using the DVD tray media source. The other is named C5500-Letter and prints on normal 8.5 x 11 paper by default.
I also noticed that Qt appears to sometimes do some strange rounding of the margin values. To get the exact margins I wanted recorded in the config file, I had to edit the file manually (I hate when that happens :-). Note that the units for margins in the config file is always points (1 point is 1/72 inch).
Printing to DVD was broken in hplip early in the fedora 11 release. Later updates fixed it, so be sure to get the latest updates if you want your HP DVD printer to work properly.
That is a compressed tarball containing both the source and this
web page in the
To build the source, you need to be setup for Qt version 4
development. On the fedora 11 system where I do development, this
means you may need to
That should build the
I haven't tested anywhere other than fedora 11 or with any printer other than the C5580, so you are on your own for building on other platforms and calibrating the margins with other printers.
P.S. As far as I'm concerned this is all public domain, but the Qt license probably makes it more restrictive than that (but not by much for practical purposes).
118mm-dvd-test.png is a 118mm diameter test image showing the margin settings and hole size that works perfectly for me and my HP Photosmart C5580 printer.
118mm-scan.png is a scan of the resulting printout so you can see just how perfect the margins line up. Note the flat spot at the top. This seems to be a bug in the linux driver for the C5580 - the same printer can print all the way to the edge even on top when using HPs software and printing from Windows XP.
mm118-template.xcf is a GIMP image I use as a template for the 118 mm DVD images I produce. It has one donut shaped layer which is the visible part and one anti-donut shaped layer for masking off this sticking out of the edges so you can see what will actually print. (It isn't spiffy enough to take into account the flat spot on top :-).
118mm-dvd.qp is a sample printer config file saved from kewpie for my C5580 printer named C5500-DVD.
The official kewpie home page is located at http://home.comcast.net/~tomhorsley/software/kewpie/kewpie.html, check there for updates if you are looking at a copy somewhere else.
My home page is http://home.comcast.net/~tomhorsley/, be sure to adopt all my earth shattering political ideas before using this software! :-).
The initial version of kewpie was uploaded on July 4th, 2009. It worked, but didn't have lots of bells and whistles.
The version calling itself 1.0 was uploaded a day later after lots of cosmetic tweaks to provide toolbars, a help menu, etc. (as well as adding the comand line options).
I fixed a bunch of typos in the web page on July 8th and updated again, but there were no program changes.