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srmorgan's avatar

Where can I find a page from a dictionary in vector format?

Asked by srmorgan (6768points) May 24th, 2010

I think I have the terminology correct.
We are doing silk-screen copying onto pottery and want to print all or part of a standard dictionary page. The words used are not important, it could be A’s or V’s or J’s, whatever.
We can not scan in a page because dictionaries are printed on thin paper and the reverse side bleeds into the scan. For some reasons PDF files also do not work well in the silk-screen process. In some cases we might be blowing up the font size so maybe that is it.

So I guess we are looking for jpg’s or actual dictionary text formatted in Word format that we could scale up or down.

If have not articulated the problem correctly any suggestions are welcome.

This is a PC application we are using, not Mac.

Thanks to all

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2 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

To solve the problem of bleeding, here’s an old trick I learned from my art director when I was editing an association newsletter: place a sheet of black paper (such as construction paper) behind the page you want to photograph. It cancels the bleed-through.

I would also strongly suggest looking carefully at the words on any page you choose because even if they are “not important,” they could convey unintended significance to the viewer of the piece. Suppose, for example, you chose the page with “break” on it, versus the page with “symmetry.” Or the page with “awesome” or “hope” versus the page with “vengeance.” I don’t think you can incorporate words into a work of art and not have them mean anything. One of the questions I was taught to ask about a piece of art was, “Are there any words in it? What are they, and what do they signify?”

srmorgan's avatar


The instructor was doing a piece on commission to be given to the leader of a local amateur arts group who was stepping back from his role. The piece has a few bars of music silk-screened onto one side, a high contrast sketch of someone conducting an orchestra on another and on the third, she wanted to print the definition of conductor from a dictionary using the formatting one would find in the dictionary.

Like Conductor (in bold) n., etymology, definition 1, 2, etc.

I know that we could type the definition into word and print it on any laser printer, but we were thinking of using the concept on other pieces such as printing an entire column or printing three or four consecutive entries from a single page.

Anyway, thank you for the tip.


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