[cd label sample]

Gimp Plugins for making CD labels

New: Nathan Willis of Worldlabel.com has written an excellent and detailed article about how to use these label scripts: Fast labels and Card layout with Gimplabels.
My "arclayer" plug-in (to bend text or anything else in an arc) has moved to its own page: arclayer page.

Note: the gimp-print patches here are way out of date, and included only as an example of how to make the changes.

Meanwhile, you may be interested in my script-fu GIMP scripts to generate label pages entirely within GIMP. They incorporate the CD label shape generator from this page, but not the arclayer plugin.

Carol came up with a great idea: write a GIMP plug-in to make a template for a compact disc label. I print CD labels in gLabels, which is a cool and useful program, but it's not nearly as versatile as the gimp for image creation.

There are several parts to making a CD label: making the shape, making text on the label look nice, and printing the actual label. I've been working on all three parts.

Making a basic CD label shape

My CD label script-fu, CDlabel.scm, gives you the basic CD shape (in <Toolbox>/Xtns/Script-Fu/Misc/CD label...) (outer circle with inner hole of the appropriate size -- it knows about regular and mini CDs), on which you can draw whatever you wish. It also adds a script in <Image>/Script-Fu/Utils/CD mask... which you can use it as a mask, applied to some other image.

To install, just save CDlabel.scm to ~/.gimp-version/scripts/CDlabel.scm

There's also a version, CDlabel2.scm, which is updated for Gimp 2.0 but will no longer run in gimp 1.2.

The easiest way to go is to design your CD, save it to a png (or some other format that preserves transparency), then read it in to gLabels for printing (let gLabels handle the offset and the database of label sheets).

Originally I wrote it as a Python plugin, CDlabel.py, which needed Gimp-Python. But most people don't have that and it's a bit of a hassle to get; everyone has script-fu, right?

My "arclayer" plug-in (to bend text or anything else in an arc) has moved to its own page: arclayer page.

Printing to a label sheet using high quality gimp-print

I'm not satisfied with the quality I get from gLabels, since gnome-print apparently only uses the default printer settings -- it has no easy way to switch to photo quality to print a really nice label. (libgnomeprint has a bug with transparent images, so making the background white instead of transparent helps a bit; but it's still not photo quality.) But the gimp-print plugin excels at photo quality printing. So I've made a patch to the latest rev of gimp-print, 4.2.3, to make it pick up label templates from the gtk 2.0 version of gLabels. (gLabels changed their format from the 1.x version to the 2.0 version, but didn't record the version as part of the file format ... sigh ... so it's important to have the right template file.) Here's the second rev of my patch to gimp-print 4.2.3, which now can print any label on the page, not just the first label. I plan on updating it a bit more and then trying to get it checked in to the gimp-print tree.

To use it you have to build gimp-print from source. Unpack the gimp-print source, cd into the source directory you just unpacked (e.g. cd gimp-print-4.2.3 ), apply the patch with patch < /path/to/gimp-templates.diff.v2 then build gimp-print according to their instructions (the usual configure, make, su, make install ). The next time you print from gimp, you should have a Templates button in the print dialog.

Hints for tuning CD templates

Templates can be kind of a hassle. No matter what blanks I buy, the predefined glabels templates don't quite line up. Also, since alignment of paper in my printer isn't that accurate, I want to print the CD pattern a bit bigger than the actual label, so that slop in the page alignment doesn't cause part of the label to be white (that looks awful). So I end up making my own templates for the labels I use. Here's my.template -- put this in ~/.glabels.my.template and glabels and my gimp-print plugin will pick it up.

Tips for defining your own templates:


With this software combination, I've been able to print CD labels that Windows users thought must have been professionally done. They'll make great holiday gifts! (One mac-using friend said, "Your backups must look great!" In fact, I print labels for my backup CDs on cheap matte labels for testing printer alignment, so my backups tend to have nice pictures that aren't concentric with the CD. :-)

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