barcode dll for vb net Choosing Printer Properties and Other Printing Tips in Software

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Choosing Printer Properties and Other Printing Tips
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I m assuming that if you re comfortable enough with technology to have picked up this book, you re already schooled in the basics of using your software s Print command. So I won t bore you with Printing 101 here. I do want to urge you, though, to read your software and printer manuals thoroughly so that you really understand the controls that may be available to you. Those controls vary so much from system to system that I can t provide any specific instructions. I can, however, offer a few troubleshooting tips that may make the printing process go more smoothly.
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For the best prints, use top-quality photo paper. You ll be amazed at the difference
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that a change in paper can make. In my experience, name-brand papers produce better results than generic, store-brand papers.
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When you re working your way through the printer options that appear after
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you choose the Print command, be sure to select the right media type for the paper you re using. Most paper manufacturers include in the paper package a sheet outlining the best settings to use with various printers.
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Any resolution options found via the Print dialog box relate to the printer
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resolution, not the image output resolution. Some printer manufacturers mistakenly use the term ppi when describing the printer resolution, an error that adds to the confusion over this issue. (See the earlier sections about output resolution for more information.) For most printers, the highest printer resolution translates to the top print quality but also a slower print speed.
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Many printers provide you with a way to tweak saturation, brightness, contrast,
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and sharpening. These changes affect only the current print job; for lasting changes to your image, you need to use your photo software s editing tools.
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If you re having trouble getting printed colors to match what you see
on-screen and who doesn t check out the next section for help.
Solving Color-Matching Problems
Getting the colors that come out of your printer to match what you see on your computer monitor is one of the toughest challenges in digital-photo printing. The next few sections offer some techniques you can try to get things more in sync.
CHAPTER 9: Becoming a Master Printer
Understanding the Limits of Color Matching
My first word of advice about color matching is to get your expectations in line. Don t drive yourself nuts trying to make printed colors look absolutely identical to your on-screen image it s a battle you can t win. As explained in 8, computer monitors and other electronic displays are RGB devices, which means that they create colors by mixing red, green, and blue. Printers use a different color model, either CMY or CMYK. With CMY, the primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. CMYK includes those same three colors plus black. (Black is called the key color, thus the K in CMYK.) But more important than the differences in the primary colors used by displays and printers is the role that light plays in the equation. Monitor colors are pure, projected light, while the colors you see on a printed page are the result of light reflecting off the ink (or dye or toner) and paper. Because of this inherent difference, you simply can t reproduce in print the most vibrant colors in the RGB model. Although getting your print and display colors in the same ballpark is entirely doable and a good idea your ultimate concern should be how a photo looks in the medium in which you intend for it to be viewed. If the colors on the printed page look great, don t worry if they look different on-screen, and vice versa.
Calibrating and Profiling Your Monitor
One easy step you can take for better color matching is to use a monitor-calibration and profiling tool, such as Adobe Gamma, which is installed automatically with the Windows-based versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Photoshop. On the Mac side, Apple ColorSync, provided as part of the Mac OS, performs the same function. These calibration utilities tune your monitor to a set of specifications that are designed to create a neutral canvas for your images. After calibrating the monitor, the software creates a color profile. The profile is a data file that tells your system more about your monitor so that images can be displayed as accurately as possible. Depending on your printer and photo software, the profile may also be used to help the printer understand how the image colors appear on-screen, enabling it to reproduce those colors more accurately. The upcoming How-To box walks you through the steps of using Adobe Gamma to calibrate and profile your monitor. If you re working on a Mac, start the ColorSync calibration and profiling process by choosing Control Panels | Monitors from the Apple menu. In the dialog box that appears, click the Color icon and then click the Calibrate button to launch the Monitor Calibration Assistant, a wizard that guides you through the rest of the process.
Shoot Like a Pro!
Whichever system you use, follow these tips to get the best results:
Let your monitor warm up for at least 30 minutes before calibrating. Perform the calibration in the light you usually use to view your images. Because monitor colors shift over time, you should recalibrate every month or so.
(Photo courtesy Monaco Systems)
The one flaw in calibration utilities such as Adobe Gamma and Apple ColorSync is that they rely on the user s visual judgments about the monitor s display characteristics. Because of ambient room light and other factors that affect color perception, what looks right to your eye may not be the completely neutral canvas that calibration is designed to achieve. If you want a less subjective analysis of your display, you need a colorimeter. When attached to your monitor screen, this device records precise color, brightness, and contrast measurements. Shown here is one such device, the MonacoOPTIX, from Monaco Systems (www.monacosystems.com). This product, which sells for about $225, can calibrate and profile both CRT monitors and LCD monitors.
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