I happen to routinely need to do the following: Take a page or a piece of paper which has seen some wear (and sometimes tear); which is often printed with toners or ink cartridges running low, or with thermal printing that has somewhat faded; which has been crumpled and only partially straightened out for scanning; and often has some contents on the back side of the paper, or some annoying watermark on the front - and produce an easy-to-read, as straight-as possible version of the printed text.

I do not care about color reproduction quality; or extremely fine details - I care about readability of the text, visibility of lines and frames, and if there's an image in there (e.g. a logo) - I want it not to be completely messed up, i.e. a black blob or a completely-faded-out white stain is not good, other than that I'm flexible.

Now, I'm going to ask a separate question about a dedicated application for this, but for now - suppose I want to do this in gimp, because I want finer control over the parameters and maybe some more processing later on.

Are there filters I could get which take on this task?

  • They need to be gratis
  • Don't really care if they're libre
  • Platform shouldn't matter, but if it does - Linux X86_64
  • I use gimp 2.8 but am flexible on that (I know 2.10.x versions are out)
  • Have you already tried unpaper – which is for "improving scans for OCR" preprocessing? Not sure how well it does with "crumpled paper", but worth a try. – Izzy Jan 13 at 22:31
  • @Izzy: Yes, and it put some white squares on top of some of the image. Not much help. – einpoklum Jan 13 at 22:49
  • Ugh… indeed not if that was the outcome shrugs Well, we cannot say we didn't try. Good luck then! – Izzy Jan 14 at 22:34

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