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Though, naturally we all want the colors that we see on screen to more or less match the colors that we get from our printers. The purpose of this movie is to provide you with a few pointers, in case you're disappointed by the color of your output. The first thing you should know is that if you have a pretty recent printer that, if you bought it within the last, let's say, four or five years. Then chances are very good that if your print colors aren't matching your screen colors it's not your printer's fault. It's your screen's fault. And you need to calibrate your display. And you can do that in a couple of ways.
You can buy a calibration device such as a color munki. And that's going to cost you anywhere from 150 bucks to 500 bucks. Just so as you know, and you just run the device, in combination with some software, and it automatically calibrates your display. If you don't have such a device, then you can manually characterize your screen. That is, you can tell your system, how you're perceiving the luminous levels, and colors.
First, I'll tell you how it works on the Mac, and then I'll show you how it works on the PC. I've gone ahead and restored the saved version of the joy of color.psd. I'm going to twirl open this group right here, called Tablet backs, and inside there's a text layer that's currently turned off. I'll go ahead and turn it on, and here's what you do. On the Mac, you go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences. And then inside the system preferences dialogue box, you click on the Display icon. Then you click the Color tab, and then you click the Calibrate button, and then you just follow the instructions.
You do what it tells you to do. You can move through it pretty quickly if you take the easy track, or, there's an expert mode option, that takes more time but gives you a lot more control. Here on the PC I'm going to press the Windows key and the d key at the same time. In order to hide Photoshop so I can see the desktop in the background. Then you right click on the desktop and you choose screen resolution, of all things. It's just the quickest way to get there. And now go up to the navigation area and click on display.
And then Click on Calibrate Color over here on the left hand side. Windows will essentially take over your screen. And again you'll be asked to follow some instructions and respond to essentially, a few on screen tests. All right, now I'm going to bring back Photoshop. Now chances are good after you get done calibrating or characterizing your screen. That the output that disappointed you a moment ago will come a heck of a lot closer to matching the image onscreen because the screen image has changed. But if you need to further tweek things, here's what you do.
You go up to the File menu and choose the Print command. And then I'll go ahead and collapse printing marks and functions here and I'll twirl open the Color Management options. And by default, color handling is set to printer manages color. That means the printer driver is in charge of the color management experience. Now notice that this is warning that says, Remember to enable the printer's color management in the print settings dialog box. Now to confirm that that's the case, click on the Print settings button, up here toward the top of the dialog box and then try to locate the Color option and this is going to vary from one printer to the next.
So there's not a heck of a lot of advice I can offer you. In the case of this HP printer there's a color tab and I can click on it. And then make sure HP EasyColor is turned on. That one check box amounts to the color management in the Print settings dialogue box. So sure enough it's on. All I need to do is click OK. And then I would drop down to the Print button and click on it. And see how things work out. Now, if you get a good print, you're happy with the results, great. If you're not, there's one more avenue available to you, and that's again in this Color Management section.
You switch color handling from printer manages color to Photoshop manages color. Now this gets very tricky because you have to specify your printer profile, and you sure as heck don't want to use most of these. Because they're designed for very specific devices that have nothing to do with your local printer. What's probably going to work best for you is one of the SRGB options. You might find one at the top of the list on a Mac, and one at the bottom of the list here on a PC. I'm going to go ahead and try that sRGB display profile, which may or may not amount to what I'm looking for.
Now Photoshop says remember to disable the printer's color management in the Print Settings Dialog Box. Because otherwise you're going to have two conflicting methods of managing color going on at the same time. So I'll click on Print settings. I'll go to that color tab. In the case of this printer, I was able to achieve the best results by turning HP EasyColor off, switching over to manual in the Color Options, and then dropping down to color themes. And I switched from default to Adobe RGB 1998, which happens to be the color profile that's assigned to this image.
And then I clicked OK and then I tried that out and I ended up getting a pretty different result, so when working with the printer's automatic color management I ended up getting an image that looks pretty much like the one you see on screen here. Her cheeks were little less rosy than this. When I switched to manual color adjustment, so that Photoshop is managing the color, her skin tones ended up looking much more rosy. Of the two I have to say the best match where this particular system and printer were concerned, was to change color handling back to Printer Manages Color, and click on Print settings.
Turn on HP EasyColor back on, click OK. And then, of course, click the Print button, or in my case, I'll click Done. So there you have a couple of pointers where achieving reliable color is concerned when printing images from Photoshop.
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