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Most of the printing that you will from Photoshop will be to a color inkjet printer. It's pretty straightforward to setup that kind of printing from Photoshop's Print dialog box, which you will access by going to the File menu the top of the screen and choosing Print, or pressing Command+P on a Mac, Ctrl+P on a PC. This is the Print dialog box. Over on the left, you see a preview of you photo and in middle you have some controls and over on the right you have the important Color Management setup.
I will talk about that in a minute. But let's start in the middle column looking at the first field where you'll go to choose your printer. Below that you can enter the number of copies that you want to make. You could click the Page Setup button, but in many cases you don't have to. Because what you will see in Page Setup, I will go there so you can see, depending on your printer, is a place to choose paper size and to set the portrait or landscape orientation for the print. There is also Scale area, but I suggest you not scale a photo here.
I am going to cancel out of that, because in many cases you don't have to go there at all. There are a couple of user interface improvements that let you set the orientation from right here in Photoshop's Print dialog. You can choose either Portrait or Landscape like that and if you look above the Print Preview, you will see the dimensions of the currently selected paper. So if that's what you want, then you don't have to bother going into Page Setup. Next you have a place that you can position the image on the paper and that's previewed right here with the white being the paper.
By default the photo appears in the center of the preview here in the Print dialog box. But when you actually print sometimes the photo won't end up in the center of the paper because of your printer's internal margins. So if that happens to you, you can come into this area and uncheck Center Image and then you can either enter in values here, or you can click and drag the photo here in the Preview. I am going to put it back to the center. If you have a very large image and for some reason you haven't resized it for print then you can scale it to fit the paper right here.
If I click the Scale to Fit Media, the print automatically resizes itself to fit the size of the paper. So if it's too big, it will size itself down. But in general, I don't like scaling my print size here in that Print dialog. Instead, it's a better idea to resize a copy of an image using the Image > Image Size command inside Photoshop proper which I covered in another movie on resizing. Down here at the Bounding Box field just gives you the handles for resizing an image inside of the Preview here.
If I uncheck that, the handles go away. I will check those again and here I have the units of measurement that affect all of these other fields. That's set to inches by default that you can change it if you need to. Over here are the Color Management controls. If you don't see Color Management here, it's because this first field is set to Output instead. Most of the Output fields only come into play when you're preparing an image for commercial printing and you want to add some reference marks for the printer, like Registration Marks, Corner Crop Marks, and so on.
Down here at the bottom is a checkbox that references a new important feature for Mac users only, and that's the ability to send 16-bit data to a printer. So in other words, if you have a RAW file that's 16-bit, you bring it into Photoshop and edit it, you can save it with all 16-bits and still send it for print to some inkjet printers if they support 16-bit printing. So if you are going to do that, then you will check Send 16-bit Data and this won't be available if you're dealing with an 8-bit image. It will be grayed out. I am going to go back up to Output menu and I'm going to choose Color Management instead.
This area I think is the most important part of the Print dialog box because here is where you control whether the colors that you have been seeing on your screen as you work on the photo will match the colors in the print from your printer. So let's go through these and see how they should be set. Because you're printing, you want to make sure the Document is selected here, not Proof. Under Document, you will see the name of any color profile that you did embed in the file in the Save dialog box before you have got to print and you can't change that here. When you come down to the Color Handling area.
If you have been following a Color Management workflow inside Photoshop by calibrating and profiling your monitor and setting up your color settings as I showed you in the earlier movie on color settings and by saving your file with a color profile embedded, then you are going to want Photoshop to manage the colors at this final stage of the Color Management process which is printing. If you haven't done that, then you may get a better print if you choose Printer Manages Colors, if you do that then you are giving control of color management to your printer driver.
I am going to leave that at Photoshop Manages Colors and I really urge you to do that and also to do the other pieces of a color management workflow. Now when you do set Photoshop to manage colors, it's important to heed this warning that you have to disable any color management controls that your printer is trying to exercise. And you will do that when we get down to the last step here of clicking the Print button because then we'll be in the printer driver controls. So I will show you that in a moment. Here in a Printer Profile field, it's important to make a choice from this long menu of a profile that best reflects the printer to which you are printing, the paper on which are printing, and the ink you're using in the printer.
So, for example, if instead of an Epson Stylus C120, I actually had an attached to this computer an inkjet printer of photo quality, like the Epson 2400 for example, I could come down all the way down to this list of printer profiles, which is down here, and find those specifically for the Epson 2400 printer. Those are the profile names here that start with SPR 2400. That stands for Epson Stylus Printer 2400, and you will see that each one of these also has the name of an Epson paper, Premium Luster, Premium Glossy and so on and then it's followed by the name of a particular kind of ink, either Photo Ink or Best Photo Ink and different manufactures have different abbreviations for the printer name and the paper naming, and the ink names.
The main thing to remember is to look for that combination of three. Let's say I am printing on this printer with Premium Glossy Paper and Photo Inks. I would choose this printer profile and that allows the colors in the Photoshop color space to be translated to you the proper color space for a particular printer. But there is one caveat and that is that when you install a printer manufacturer's generic profiles for their products, you have to keep in mind that that really is a generic profile, that it's not a profile of your individual printer and every printer has some idiosyncratic ways that it handles color.
So rather than use generic profiles that are often installed with a printer driver or that you can download from a printer manufacturer's website, if you can, it's better to make a profile of your particular printer and that's done with special profiling hardware and software. So if you don't have that, the next best thing is to use the generic printer profile along with the paper and ink profile as I showed you here. Then you will come to the Rendering Intent drop-down menu where you can choose the formula that will control how colors will be converted from Photoshop's working color space to your printer's color space.
The best all-around choice here is usually Relative Colorimetric. When you select one of these, you will see a description of it down at the bottom of this column. I also suggest you leave Black Point Compensation checked. That will compensate for the range of blacks that your printer can print with the goal of retaining shadow detail in the dark portions of the image and of having a true black in the image. Now if you come over to the print preview you will notice a couple of checkboxes there. If I click Match Print Colors, keep your eye on the photo, and you see that it change color slightly because the photo is giving a live update of how the colors in the print will look with the choices that you have made here in the Color Management column.
Something new in Photoshop CS4 is the Gamut Warning here in the Print dialog box. If there are colors in the image like bright aqua or bright magenta that are out of the range of the colors that your particular printer can reproduce, then those will show up with a gray overlay in this preview if you turn on Gamut Warning. In this particular print, the colors are pretty subtle and so I don't see any gamut warnings and by the way you will only see a display of out of gamut colors if you have checked Match Print Colors and you've chosen your printer profile.
There is another checkbox here, Show Paper White. Checking this box sets the color of white here in a preview to the color of paper used in a selected printer profile and that gives you more accurate preview of how the image will print, because the colorcast of an image can appear to be different when you look at it against different colors of paper. Now that we have gone through all the settings here, I can click the Print button and that opens up yet another window. Depending on your printer this window look different, because the settings here are governed by the printer driver. But no matter which printer you have, there are a couple of things to look for here.
One of those is to turn off the printer's attempt to manage color. Here in an Epson driver, I can go to this drop-down menu and I do see a selection here for Color Management. So look in your printer driver's box and see if you see anything about Color Management or Color Matching. Select that and as you can see here I have a choice to turn off color adjustment and that's really important to do. Again, you may not see these exact words in your printer's driver, but if there is anything like this, you do want to turn it off so that there is not a struggle between the printer's attempt to manage color and Photoshop's attempt to manage color and you remember that we did choose let Photoshop manage color in the Print dialog box.
In the Epson drivers I also go into Print Settings and here I choose the type of paper that I'm going to be printing on. So look in your own driver for a place that you can select the particular paper you are going to be using. If I am going to be printing on premium photo paper, as I chose in the printer profile, then it's important to select it here as well. In the Epson drivers, I also turn off high speed printing to get a better print and I will set Print Quality to Best Photo.
In your drivers you may find a print quality setting as well and you can experiment with that. It's finally time to hit the Print button, but before I do I want to mention one more new feature in Photoshop CS4 and that is that the old 3000 pixel ceiling on the largest size image that you could print has now gone. So you will be able to make really large prints from Photoshop CS4, even something like a really large panorama. So that's how you can print to inkjet printer directly from Photoshop CS4.
There are quite a few settings to look at but the most important of those I think are the color management settings. It's inevitable that you're going to have to print at sometime. So do try to follow the tips I have given you here to get the best quality print that you can.
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