[ Home - Products| Services | Contact us | Order Information ]

Using Office Software

Yes, you can use office software such as Word, WordPerfect, PowerPoint, etc. to control the laser. However, these types of applications are not good at handling graphic output to a laser device, and you may spend quite a bit of time getting acceptable results when using these applications. A good graphical package like Corel Draw is really a requirement for serious work using a Laser Engraver and is highly recommended.

Here are some notes for those who insist on using office software, particularly Word.

(1). Graphic images should be GIF. Word does not like JPG (jpeg) or BMP (Bitmap) images and seems to have difficulty using these to control the laser. If you have a Word document that is using a non-GIF image and text and send this to the Laser Engraver, the text will probably engrave whereas the graphic will be skipped.

(2). Be sure the GIF image is NOT an Interlaced image. GIF images should be Progressive Scan.

(3). Some office programs, such as Word, cannot automatically determine the page size that the laser is using. This is somewhat odd, since the scaled down word processor "wordpad" seems to be able to handle this without any problem. For example, if you are using the ILS-III (which as an 18 x 24 inch "page size"), WordPad will automatically size your page for "custom" and it will be 18 x 24. However, Word cannot do this and will complain that the page size of your document must match the page size of the printer - which in this case is the Laser Engraver. If you try to adjust the page size in Word to 18" x 24", you will get another error because 24 inch is too big for Word - Word has an upper limit of 22 inch for a page dimension. So, if you are going to use Word, you need to make the Laser Engraver driver have a page size with a dimension less than 22 inch and need to make Word have the same page size. For starters, set up the ILS-III for an 8.5 x 11 inch size and then start Word.

(4). Word95 and Word97 seem to be able to process a file better than Word2000. Word2000 has an option under TOOLS -> OPTIONS for Automatic Page Resize. Sometimes Word wants this setting checked, while other times it requires it not to be checked.

(5). A note requiring WordPad. Some versions of WordPad will put a yellow color behind your text lines. When you do a Print Preview, you may see this yellow color. If you see this, then you need to disable the YELLOW color in the laser's driver. If you do not, the laser will engrave your text, and then completely wipe out the text by engraving over the text with the "yellow" stripe.