/drive/community?hl=en
/drive/community?hl=en
3/1/14
Original Poster
John Sidles

Why is Google Drive PDF color-rendering so bad?

Browser: Firefox/Safari/Chrome
Operating System: OSX
Drive on the Web
 
Beside just plain bad color-balance in Google Drive's PDF-rendering, another problem (related?) is that Google Drive's PDF color-rendering is inconsistent page-to-page.
 
E.g., the three-colored boxes of Tables 1,2,3, and 6 are from the same LaTeX macro, and render identically on *all* PDF readers --- except Google Drive.
 
URL: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByYbFbzq4CGyQzE4dVhKSmwtUVU/edit?usp=sharing
 
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All Replies (1)
Bas Braams
3/2/14
Bas Braams
<<Why is Google Drive PDF color-rendering so bad?>> "Why" is always difficult for this forum. In the present case, we know because of examples such as those posted under [1] that the Docs+Drive pdf viewer uses just 5 bits rather than the usual 24. Color images are rendered using 32 colors, grayscale images are rendered using 32 grays, and if an image is diagnosed to be a mix of color and grayscale then 16 colors and 16 grays are used. (In the color cube and other images posted under [1] one can count the colors and the grays.) On one level that explains why color-rendering is so bad. On another level, however, nothing is explained. It just does not make sense that the Docs+Drive team inflicts this bad experience on everyone that views a pdf file that is stored on the Docs+Drive cloud.

The Docs+Drive viewer seems to handle *.png and *.jpg (*.jpeg) files fine, preserving full color resolution. The color in pdf files is severely maltreated, images are ugly and it is really unacceptable, but the images are still recognizable. The worst treatment is given to Tiff (*.tif) files, which are rendered unrecognizable [2], apparently because for Tiff files not only are the colors or grays encoded in 5 bits but in addition the binary numbers are then interpreted the wrong way around (right-to-left versus left-to-right).

[1] (2014-01-22) Re: I uploaded a colour PDF to google drive to share it, and the colours look all weird.

[2] (2014-01-26) Google Drive inverting color on picture previews
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