The following are print instructions specific to printing through Photoshop on the Epson P800 printers at the College of DuPage. These detailed instructions explain each print dialog box in PS and the Print Driver, as well as demonstrate which settings to use, how they work, and why you want to use them. Each section pertinent to the print process are covered thoroughly in these instructions. Although these have been created specifically for Photoshop [my preferred print software option] you can easily use them to apply to a Lightroom print workflow as well. ~ Tim
Disclaimer: Prints are not always going to match what you see on the monitor as there are many factors involved in the print process; specifically the inherent colors within the photo, the embedded color space, and the printer/paper profile to name a few. Therefore these instructions will provide you with the optimal settings to choose when making digital prints. Happy Printing!
Getting Started: To begin any print job we are going to choose File>Print from the menu bar at the top of the Photoshop workspace. This will open the Photoshop Print Settings dialog box as shown in the screen capture below.
Printer Setup: From this section you will choose the printer you want to print to [C/M/Y/Blk], the number of copies and the orientation of your photograph. Once these setting have been selected you will then click on the Print Settings button.
Photoshop Print Settings dialog box.
Print Driver: In the Print dialog box you will see the printer you have chosen and the number of copies from the previous step. The Presets drop down menu is for frequently used settings, which can be saved for a one-click set up. Please scroll down to take a detailed look at the Paper Size and the Printer Settings options.
Paper Size: Choosing the correct paper size can be simple, or it can be complicated. It will just depend on the type of paper you are printing on. We at COD prefer that you print on Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster, so the instructions will be for that paper. The most common paper size for students is the US Letter paper [8.5x11]. The size is selected by default, however, you will notice that there are 5 options to choose from for it. If you do nothing here the printer will use the US Letter option, which leaves a paper-white border on all four sides of the print. If you want your print to extend to the edge of the paper then you can choose one of the Borderless options. Auto Expand will make the photo slightly larger to ensure it prints off the edge of the paper leaving no white border, while the Retain Size option will not expand the photo but depending on how the sheet is loaded may leave a hint of a white border. Please also note the various cut-sheet sizes for papers purchased of sizes other than Letter. You may also cut larger sheets down to any of the sizes listed prior to printing.
Printer Settings: To access the Printer Settings dialog box you will need to click on the drop-down option directly below the Paper Size setting. By default it will be showing the Layout options, so click on it and choose Printer Settings from the menu. These settings will allow you to choose the Paper Source, Media Type, Print Mode, Color Mode, and Output Resolution.
Choose Printer Settings from this list.
Media Type: This is a very important selection and can affect the outcome of your print. The Media Type options are very specific to Epson branded Photo papers; note I said Epson branded, not Epson Compatible. This is the reason why you want to print with Epson papers made for this printer. The Photo Paper list is for papers with a "glossy" finish and are acceptable for printing in the classrooms, because they use the Photo Black ink. Please do not print on Matte papers in the classrooms, as the printers switch from Photo to Matte Black wastes ink and fills the Maintenance Tank. If you need to print on matte or Rag papers; Print Room #3 is available for this purpose in the Photo Lab for a small fee.
The Media Type fly-out menu for Photo Papers.
Misc. Printer Settings: In addition to choosing the Media Type [previous step] in this dialog box, you will also choose the Paper Source. There are two options for this Sheet Feeder and Front Fine Art. Sheet Feeder is the default option when feeding paper through the top feeder. The Front Fine Art has to go through a complicated [for the newby] series of front panel printer choices, which you must seek assistance with, therefore I will not go into detail on how to set it up here, but please ask for assistance if necessary. The Print Mode should default to EPSON PrecisionDot; the Color Mode to OFF [No Color Management], both settings we do want. The Output Resolution does not need to go above SuperFine 1440. Printing with the 2880 option takes 2x longer to make the print, uses more ink, and you may not even notice a difference between the 1440 and the 2880 print. Disable the High Speed option, but you may select the Finest Detail setting. Press SAVE when finished.
Miscellaneous options in the Print Setting section.
Color Management: Once your settings have been saved in the Print Driver you will return to the Photoshop Print Settings. The next step will be used to set your Color Management options. In this section you will see the tagged Document Profile. The Color Handling may be set to the default of Printer Manages Colors, which we do not want as our option. We would like to set this option to Photoshop Manages Colors, which will also make our Printer Profile options available to us. The Printer Profiles are profiles made for specific papers for the P800 printer. This is another very important selection, as these profiles have been created specifically for Epson papers or custom made for these printers as in the case of the ProMaster Ultra Premium Pearl Paper. If the paper you are printing on is not in this list, there is no profile for that paper for these printers and the results may be poor. Again, this is why we prefer you print on Epson branded papers only[!]. If you are printing a 16-bit photo you will also want to check the Send 16-bit Data option for the smoothest tonal transitions.
Choose the correct paper profile from the Printer Profile list.
Rendering Intent: The Rendering Intents dictate how the printer will handle Out-of-Gamut colors. There are four options in this drop down menu, however, there are only two options which you will choose from, Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric. Both of these options handle out-of-gamut colors the same, they pull them both into the paper profiles printable space [in-gamut]. However, each one handles in-gamut colors differently in this process.
Perceptual pushes all colors towards the center axis, which may affect saturation in the photo. It is best used for preserving the continuous tone in a photo and minimizing "banding".
Relative Colorimetric only pushes the out-of-gamut colors in, but does not affect the in-gamut colors so saturation is preserved, however you may notice "banding" or a "posterized" look in some areas of your prints. Any changes will depend on the color makeup within the photograph.
Choose between the Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric Rendering Intents.
Position and Size: I did not draw attention to the photo I was printing, however, you may have noticed in the preview window that the photo is actually larger than the print area. In order to get the entire photo to print I have to resize it to for the paper. This is easily done by scrolling down the dialog box a little and putting a checkmark in the Scale to Fit media box. This will automatically resize the photo based on all of the other settings selected in the Print Driver and the Photoshop Print Settings dialog boxes. If you are printing to a specific size such as 8x10, please carefully view this section to ensure the height and width values match your desired output size. This may require unchecking the Scale to Fit Media option and manually keying in one of the physical dimensions for the Height or Width settings.
Done and Print: If you need to go back in and make a change to your photo before printing but after you have set up all of the print settings; you can click on the Done button. This will close the Photoshop Print Settings window, but will retain all of your settings so you do not have to go through them again. If you are all set and ready to go, press the PRINT button.
Please respect the printers. If you find that you have an error and do not know how to correct for it, please ask for assistance. Do not walk away with a print job still in the que or the printer waiting for a sheet of paper. Turn off the printers when finished printing.