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Single print job emulation of multiple TIFF files

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Andrew R. Ferlitsch

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

Methods and apparatus for printing multiple TIFF files as a single print job are disclosed. Multiple-TIFF-file data is concatenated into a single stream, without completely merging the data into a single TIFF file with all byte offsets affected. Instead, tag data is used to either delineate which data comes from which files (allowing offset pointers to be offset or reset), or to set an offset adjustment value to interpret byte offsets that do not refer to the beginning of the file stream. A PDL interpreter and/or a TIFF reader on the printer processes the concatenated data, allowing the use of advanced print features and efficient device utilization when multiple TIFF files are printed together.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The invention may be best understood by reading the disclosure with reference to the drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates the basic structure of three TIFF files, these structures to be used in examples for each detailed embodiment;

FIG. 2 contains a block diagram for portions of a printer that contains a PDL interpreter with a TIFF bypass transform; and

FIGS. 3 to

5 show, for three respective embodiments, a single print job containing three concatenated TIFF files and tag structures added to create a MultiTIFF file.

Claims

1. A method of printing multiple TIFF files, the method comprising:

2. The method of claim 1, wherein adding tag data comprises inserting printer job language commands into the print job, at least one command indicating when a printer should enter TIFF mode.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising including, within at least one of the printer job language commands, information keyed to the length of the first TIFF file.

4. The method of claim 2, further comprising including, within the printer job language commands, information keyed to the length of each TIFF file.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the information keyed to the length of each TIFF file is included in a printer job language command immediately preceding the TIFF data for that TIFF file.

6. The method of claim 2, further comprising placing a tag byte sequence at the end of the first TIFF file data to delineate the end of that TIFF file.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein adding tag data comprises:

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the original IFD is the logical last IFD in the first TIFF file, and wherein the tag data comprises an IFD directory entry signaling that another TIFF file follows the new IFD.

9. The method of claim 8, comprising concatenating image and image pointer data from more than two TIFF files, wherein replicating the logical last IFD, adjusting a pointer, and adding an IFD directory entry signaling that another TIFF file follows the new IFD, are performed for each TIFF file followed by another TIFF file.

10. The method of claim 7, wherein the tag data comprises a new IFD entry describing a pointer offset adjust value based at least in part on the length of the first TIFF file, the method further comprising modifying the first TIFF file logical last Next IFD Offset pointer from a NULL value to a value that can be used to reach the logical first IFD of the second TIFF file.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the original IFD is selected from the logical last IFD in the first TIFF file and the logical first IFD in the second TIFF file, and the pointer offset adjust value indicates the length of the first TIFF file.

12. The method of claim 10, comprising concatenating image and image pointer data from more than two TIFF files, wherein replicating an original IFD, adjusting a pointer, and adding a pointer offset adjust value, are performed for each pairing of adjacent TIFF files.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the pointer offset adjust value indicates the length of all TIFF files up to and including the first TIFF file of each pairing.

14. A method of processing a print job containing concatenated image and image pointer data from first and second TIFF files, the method comprising:

15. The method of claim 14, wherein recognizing tag data comprises, in an interpret mode, interpreting a printer job language command that identifies a TIFF file and its size, and adjusting print parameters comprises passing an amount of data equal to the indicated size through a TIFF bypass path, and then reentering the interpret mode.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the print job contains concatenated image and image pointer data from more than two TIFF files, wherein interpreting a printer job language command that identifies a TIFF file and its size, passing an amount of data equal to the indicated size through a TIFF bypass path, and then reentering the interpret mode are repeated for each TIFF file.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein recognizing tag data comprises, in an interpret mode, interpreting a printer job language command that identifies a TIFF file, and in a TIFF mode, examining data passed through to a TIFF reader for the presence of a specified end TIFF file sequence.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the tag data exists in one or more TIFF data IFD entries.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein adjusting print parameters according to the tag data comprises resetting file pointer values to reference from the beginning of the second TIFF file data, without resetting the printer.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein adjusting print parameters according to the tag data comprises setting a pointer offset adjust value according to the tag data, and accounting for the pointer offset adjust value in reading pointer values from the second TIFF file data.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising when the print job contains image and image pointer data from more than two TIFF files, accumulating additional tag data pointer offset adjust values for each set of TIFF file data beyond the second.

22. A print device capable of rendering TIFF data, comprising:

23. The print device of claim 22, the print engine comprising a printer job language interpreter having a TIFF bypass pipeline to the TIFF reader, the printer job language interpreter having the capability to:

24. The print device of claim 22, the print engine comprising a printer job language interpreter having a TIFF bypass pipeline to the TIFF reader, the printer job language interpreter having the capability to:

25. The print device of claim 22, the TIFF reader having a file reset mode that responds to tags inserted in an IFD entry by resetting internal file pointers without resetting the print engine.

26. The print device of claim 22, the TIFF reader having a pointer offset adjust register that contains a value to be added to pointers extracted from TIFF data, the TIFF reader capable of setting the pointer offset adjust register value in response to tags inserted in an IFD entry.

27. A print assistant comprising:

28. The print assistant of claim 27, the tag insertion module placing the tags in printer job language commands interspersed between the data from multiple TIFF files.

29. The print assistant of claim 27, wherein the tag insertion module comprises an IFD replicator to replicate one or more IFDs in the TIFF data, and an IFD pointer adjust module to adjust existing IFD pointers in the TIFF data to point to the replicated IFDs, the tag insertion module inserting the tags in new IFD entries within the replicated IFDs.

30. An apparatus comprising a computer-readable medium containing computer instructions that, when executed or interpreted by a processor, cause the processor to perform a method of printing multiple TIFF files, the method comprising: