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For many photographers, the Print is the preferred method for sharing a photographic image. And in Photoshop CS6, the Print dialog has gotten a bit of an overhaul, making it more streamlined and I think a little bit easier to use. Let's take a look at how we can use the new Print dialog in Photoshop CS6. I've already prepared my image for output, so I'll go to the File menu, and choose Print. That will bring up the Print dialog, and you can see that the left side, is dominated by the preview. And the right side has a series of sections, with various settings that we can use to adjust our Print settings.
We'll start off of course by choosing the printer that we want to print to. I already have my printer selected here and I've specified one copy in a Landscape orientation. I can also adjust my Print settings, and I'll do that in now, in large part to confirm the paper size setting. I'll go ahead and switch my settings in this case to Photo Highest Quality. And for page layout I'll choose an appropriate paper size. In this case I'll use a 4 by 6 inch sheet of paper. I'm just printing a very small image. Now the dialog that we're looking at right now is specific to the printer. So this will vary depending on which particular printer you're using. I'll go a head and click OK to accept those changes now. And you can see that the layout has changed to reflect the options I established.
I do need to adjust the orientation here within the Print dialog. And now we have a preview, and that preview includes the Match Print Colors option by default. I can turn that off if I want the image to look it's best. But with Match Print Colors turned on, I'll get a better sense of what that final print will look like. I can also show Paper White and that will give me a sense of how the paper will influence the image as well. And I can turn on the gamut warning if I want to see which areas of the image the printer is not able to reproduce. So here you can see some areas of the clouds with a gray overlay that indicates that those areas are not printable. Of course, the printer will produce the closest matching color, based on our particular settings.
Let's take a look at those Color Management settings. My source profile is SRGB. And for color handling, I'm using the Photoshop Manages Colors option. And this is usually the best option if you have a good printer profile. I can specify which profile I want to use based on the particular printer, paper and ink combination that I'm using. In this case, let's assume that I'm going to be printing to Premium Luster Photo Paper, for example. You can see that that produces a much better result in terms of color gamut and contrast.
And I'll use the Normal Printing option because I'm simply printing a photo. I don't need to simulate the printed output that would be produced by a completely different printer. And I can specify whether I want to use perceptual or relative color metric as my rendering intent. There are two other options but for normal printing you would not need those. You can switch between Relative Color metric and Perceptual to see which one produces the best results. In this case based on the preview it looks like Perceptual is going to give me the best print and so I'll leave that option set. And I also want to keep the Black Point Compensation check box turned on so that black in the image will be mapped to black in the final printed output. Note by the way that because I'm letting Photoshop manage my colors, I need to make sure in my Print settings that I've disabled Color Management. And you can see in my case, with the particular printer that I'm using. I do have Color Management turned off so that the printer driver will not attempt to modify the color.
It's leaving that up to Photoshop. I can then scroll down to see some additional options. I have a Position and Size option. I want to center the image on the page so I'll turn on that Center check box. I can also scale the image if I want. Under normal circumstances I would only want to use the 100 % Scale option so that the image prints exactly as I've sized it in Photoshop. In some cases though, you might want to scale the image to fit the media to make the largest print possible for the paper you're printing to. But in most cases, I recommend resizing the image to that output size first. We also have the option to print just the selected area of a photo but in this case I'm printing the entire image.
So I'll leave that option turned off. We also have some options for printing marks. So, for example, Corner Crop marks and those might be used if you are creating a proof for a client, for example. But in this case, I don't need any of those printing marks. And then, finally, we have the Functions section. And generally the only option I might use here is the Emulsion Down option. If I were printing for example to a translucent material, a back lit film material. Then I would need to print the image backwards so that when it is mounted in a light box it will actually appear correctly.
But here I'm printing to normal paper, so I'll leave that option turned off. I can specify a Background color, a Border, or a Bleed setting for the print, but I don't need those options either. Now, of course, you might recognize that the options available here in the Print dialog are not new. They're simply arranged a bit differently, and I think in a more logical way that's easier to work with. And once you've configured the settings as you'd like, you can simply click the Print button to send the image to the printer.
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