Deleting lines on an index card?

recipefront.pdf (58.0 KB)

Hi- I am trying to eliminate the lines on the index card. I tried GIMP but no luck with youtube help. I am a teacher and do not have a photo shop license. Also tried the magic eraser app which helped but did not get all of the lines.

Here’s one of the more recent topics on this, which has a lot of good information and pointers to other topics.


It would be much easier if you have a colour photo of the recipe - but it is doable in GIMP. Basically you use the eraser tool to delete all the things you don’t want. Start large, and then zoom in closer and closer until what you don’t want isn’t there.

Here’s what it’ll look like as you begin


…but colour would mean you could select that and delete as a command!


Ok-I was going off the video in the other post that suggested making black/white first. thanks!

Sorry, but this project is destined to fail as is, you need a much better resolution photo.

I agree with dierdrebeth, it can be done, but this low resolution photo is never going to give you a good result. I don’t use her methods, I prefer to work with curves to isolate the colors, but you can’t expect to get a better result than the quality of the original image with engravings. You simply need a high quality image to start before you can even attempt to clean it up.

Ideally, you’d have a scanner to get it done, but a photo can work – to get best results, be sure to have good lighting and make sure the camera is dead level to the recipe.

If you have the original and the lines are a different color, Gimp can select by color very easily. Looking at what you have now the scattered pixels are hard to even read, it has degraded so much I would be surprised if you could get anything.

Which only works with a colour image :slight_smile: That’s how I do it too.


Welp, there you go, I spoke too soon. That’s much better.

So I come at this from the perspective of wanting it to be pretty perfect so my method here is fiddly and will likely take an hour or two to clean things up with some practice – more time for your first go at it.

First off, don’t fix parts you don’t need. I immediately crop this down to exactly the recipe area.

Much better.

Now I want to use curves to up the contrast and get a clean separation.

Ahh, cleaner already. Now you could go a few ways, color select is one way, but in this case, the blue lines versus the text has enough color overlap that I think it’s too clumsy. The red, however, that might work. Let’s see. With a little effort and messing with the sensitivity of the color select tool, I was able to remove that red line in 2-4 select/delete stages.

That’s a nice little bit of effort saved. Now, just to see if it can work, lets try to manipulate the image and use the color selection to remove the blue lines. (spoiler alert, no.)

I start by pumping the saturation of the image to make the colors as poppy and distinct from each other as possible, then use the color selection tool. It starts off well enough, removing big swatchs of the blue lines… but eventually I am left with scraps that are the same color as part of the desired words, and we start to see this:

Notice the white pixels in the P of “cup”, that’s bad news. So, I am back to my original thought, we need to manually erase things.

Luckily, I have a few tricks to make that go quickly and accurately. First up, I make three layers, a transparent layer and two white layers. I rename one of the white layers “pink” and then use the paint bucket to fill it a solid bright pink.

It’s important that the transparent layer is on top, with the white/pink underneath.

Then, I paste the entire recipe image into the transparent layer and either hide or delete the original layer.

Like this. The key part here is that as we delete lines from the transparent recipe layer, the pink will show through and easily show us our edits. I zoom in with the eraser tool and go to work.

As you can see the hot pink really shows where the edits were made. To see how it looks as a final product, you can simply hide the pink layer for a moment:

Looking good! The rest of the process goes the same way, lots of fiddly erasing to get it just so.

When you’re all done with removing the blue lines, then I’d convert it to greyscale using desaturate:

Then I would use curves to pump the contrast just how you want it:

I ensure that the whites are pure white and the darks are very dark this way. Then the final step is to export the entire thing as a png and integrate it into your SVG.

I know I went a bit quickly, if you have specific questions I can answer them, but my method is just one of many to get a similar result. I like my technique, I find it to be relatively quick and gets great results, but ymmv.

Here’s the GIMP file if you want to pick up where I left off, It’s right after I first show you the hot pink trick. (3.1 MB)


Basic to cleaning up any image, Is what I like most about Gimp. you c an set the tolerance to zero and then drag down increasing the tolerance and watching the pink so it goes up to but not over the place that you want,

Exporting that line is a newly discovered thing I am especially crazy about as well.


What he said :slight_smile:

and this one is an .svg so you can re-size it without losing any detail



That sounds like it would be delicious on such a winter’s day.


Well that was just rad! Thanks for the tutorial. I had been playing with Corel Photo but as a former science teacher dumped into engineering design I have a lot to learn.

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This is the best tutorial ever! Thank you for taking the time to post these


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