Disabling a Printer's Color Correction

Now that you have profiled your monitor, it is time to think about your printers. Every printer has drivers that let it communicate with your computer. The drivers are written by the manufacturer (available on their website) and have controls specific to your device.

Many drivers have built-in color correction software that you can use, or you can disable that software and let Photoshop take over the color management issues. Become familiar with the options available in your specific printer drivers. It will be helpful to take a look at driver options found in a common Epson inkjet printer, even if you use a different printer, because many of the options are similar.

In Windows, follow these steps to disable your printer's color correction :

1. Choose Start Printers And Faxes to open the Printers And Faxes folder.

2. Double-click a printer to open its folder. In this case, we will be looking at an Epson Stylus C60. The driver is installed when you connect the printer to your computer for the first time and remains thereafter.

3. Choose Printer > Printing Preferences to open the Printing Preferences dialog box:

The options in the Printing Preferences dialog box depend on the manufacturer and model of your printer. Just follow along with the steps even if you don't have this specific device, as the concepts are similar for all printers. I'll describe a typical set, from my Epson model.

4. Find the printer utilities. (I clicked the Utility tab.) Epson provides status monitor, nozzle check, head cleaning, and print head alignment utilities. Using these is essential to maintaining the "health" of the device.

5. Find the part of the dialog box in which you can set media type and color mode. (I clicked the Main tab.) This is one of the most important parts of the driver as the choices you make here have a huge impact on the printed results.

6. You usually must hunt for more advanced controls to change the color space. In this case, I click the Custom button in the Mode section and then click the Advanced button to open the Advanced dialog box:

Advanccd

^ Media Typs-

& Color Mar^gement

•H* f Black

fl" ColoConl/cfc 6arrmo(0) |l.8 jJ f Ftio!oEnhancc4 f^No Cctor AdfjstmetTt f^sRGB

r ich

lirf Print Qually |N«mal • 360dpi

Highspeed FlpHweonlal

R Edge Smoothing

MQde jAuiomalie

0 Vrilow | + 0 j i4

Save SeWnps... j [ ok j Cancel | Hefp |

7. This driver provides many options for managing color, and these are probably great for most applications. However, because Photoshop is such an advanced tool for manipulating color, I click No Color Adjustment and then click OK and OK again to close the dialog boxes and disable color correction in the driver.

Calibrating Monitors

Here are some recommendations for achieving the best results when calibrating your monitor:

♦ Make sure a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor has been on for at least 30 minutes prior to creating a profile. CRTs need warm-up time to produce stable color.

♦ Set your graphics card's color depth to 32-bit True Color.

♦ Set your desktop background to a neutral 50% gray.

♦ Match the lighting in your studio to the lighting where your output will be viewed.

♦ Calibrate your monitor every month, because performance declines over time.

♦ Use calibration hardware to create more accurate profiles. (See the "Professional Color" section later in this chapter.)

If possible, you should disable color management in your printer driver. Let Photoshop do this work. It is a mistake for both Photoshop and a printer driver to try and take over this important job, because conflicts will arise. You must decide which software will manage color and stick with this decision throughout your workflow.

If you have other peripheral devices, such as digital cameras, scanners, and printers, disable color correction in their drivers also. In this book, Photoshop will be entirely responsible for color management.

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