Tips for achieving accurate prints - InDesign

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
Hi, my last few presentations have had problems printing from a laser printer (uses cmyk of course) from my uni's library. it prints very densely if the images on the pages are converted to cmyk or washed out if they are rgb.

basically what i see on screen (even in proof colours) appears a hell of a lot different when printed out and its hard to get a good print.

last one I did I made all the images brighter in indesign and some were a bit dark but everything was very vivid and was a good print.

Does anyone have any tips on getting my monitor to show properly what Im printing and are they're any tips for getting better prints?

Thanks,
Luke.

ps sorry for my typing atm, I can only use 1 hand...
 

covisio

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2007
283
20
UK
There are ways of improving your output to 'good enough' without resorting to screen recalibration hardware.
I don't know about CS4, but in CS3 the first step is to launch Adobe Bridge and go to Edit>Creative Suite Color Settings. Looking at your website and the kind of work you do, probably 'Europe General Purpose' or similar will be a good one to choose. This sets the colour settings for ALL your CS applications.
Now run the screen calibration tool which is in System Preferences>Displays>[Color tab]>Calibrate. Follow the instructions and set it by eye.
Now in InDesign, assuming you are printing directly out of that application, go to print, and choose 'Color Management' from the list of settings on the left.
For 'Color Handling' (assuming again that you have a PostScript printer) choose 'PostScript® Printer Determines Color'.
Hopefully this will allow the printer to take control of colour output.
See what comes out.
 

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
Thanks for the tips coviso, I've done all that and it seems better.

One major factor in the process though is that I cant print from my laptop so I always output to a high quality PDF document and print from a studio pc/mac.

Are there any things I should change and watch out for when using the pdf like this?

I think I can print form my macbook directly from InDesign so if thats going to make a difference I will make sure I do this in future.

Also would a calibration device make a big difference? I might be able to borrow one one off either a friend or the uni.

Cheers!
Luke.

Edit: Also my monitor (22" Acer P223w) has a setting called ACM (acer colour management?) that appears to make everything brighter and cleaner, nicer but maybe not accurate. Should I use this?
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
100
Folding space
How are you creating your PDF? Are you making a PostScript file and converting it to PDF in Distiller? Are you saving to PDF from the Print dialogue box? Are you Exporting to PDF from InDesign? Damn! This is complicated...:eek:...

Post a screenshot of the PDF set-up box you get when you make your PDF. Something like this.

Dale
 

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LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
Thanks doug, cool article!
Hopfully it should all print better next time.

One more thing - How would you print from a macbook to a library printer?

- If I can print directly from my macbook over the network, I take it you'd print directly from InDesign? Is this the preferred method or...

- What if I can't print directly? Would I use export PDF, print postscript etc..? Then just take it on my memory stick. Also would it matter what pc/mac I used? (could this affect colour management?) Sounds like printing to postscript is preferred? Would the library pcs/macs be able to print right form that file without any extra programs?

Thanks again!
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
100
Folding space
If the library is on a wired network, you should be able to connect using the Ethernet jacks in the junction boxes or wall. Wireless would require that you get someone from IT to give your computer access. When I was in school, the lab printer was wireless and I had a hard time using it to print because the server it ran through didn't have my computers IP address. You need lab help to do either of these, and probably a driver.

On some lab days (Friday) I found myself in need of printing with my assigned desktop in use. My instructor connected me directly to the printer and let me install the drivers from the original disks. This was with an Epson R1900.

Dale
 

NorahsDaddy

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2009
2
0
So. Do I shoot my computer or me?

I've followed some of the instructions I've read here and still can't print the way I want.

When I print in InDesign, it looks good on the screen but looks really washed out when it actually prints. (It prints great in iPhoto and everything else though.)

I'm attaching the window I see and can't change the Color Handling to my printer. You'll see there's a little "I" to the right of that and when I put the cursor over it it reads: Remember to disable color management in the printer driver dialogue box.

Where the hell is that?

And be gentle. I'm not all that computer literate. Thanks for your help.

Randy in Toronto
 

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covisio

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2007
283
20
UK
Well you see that button second in from the left on the bottom of the dialog?
Clicking on that will bring up the Printer Driver controls. If available in there, you need to find a control which turns on or off the PRINTER colour management, thereby handing control over to InDesign. Also while in there you get to choose the printer paper type - depending on the printer this usually has a significant effect on print density/quality. Once done, click OK and return to the InDesign print dialog, then print.
The trouble is with printing in Adobe apps on the Mac, it's a three way battle between Apple's print options, Adobe's print options, and the print options offered by the Printer's driver. Unless you get all three working in harmony, it can be confusing.
 

covisio

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2007
283
20
UK
Well you see that button second in from the left on the bottom of the dialog?
Clicking on that will bring up the Printer Driver controls. If available in there, you need to find a control which turns on or off the PRINTER colour management, thereby handing control over to InDesign. Also while in there you get to choose the printer paper type - depending on the printer this usually has a significant effect on print density/quality. Once done, click OK and return to the InDesign print dialog, then print.
The trouble is with printing in Adobe apps on the Mac, it's a three way battle between Apple's print options, Adobe's print options, and the print options offered by the Printer's driver. Unless you get all three working in harmony, it can be confusing.
Oh, I also notice you have 'sRGB' as your printer profile - this is clearly incorrect. You need a profile which is provided by your printer manufacturer, so look for something Canon-related. It may also be specific to the paper used.
 

NorahsDaddy

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2009
2
0
File this under "looking a gift horse in the mouth".

Thanks for your tips.

I did some of what you asked and couldn't figure out the rest. The up side is that whatever I did worked.

The downside is that it all really looks saturated now.

What's the trick to printing so that it looks more like what you see on the screen? I know it's a bit of an apples and oranges thing but it not really very close.

Thanks again for your help on this. You got me to a point where at least I've put my gun down.

Randy
 
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