PhotoshopNews.com
May 4, 2005

Print with Preview – Photoshop CS2


Don’t let your printer’s color go to the dogs. . .

This article is an excerpt from Andrew Rodney’s upcoming book Color Management for Photographers : Hands on Techniques for Photoshop Users and deals with the changes you’ll find in Photoshop CS2′s Print with Preview command.

Print with Preview was dramatically changed in Photoshop CS2. The Print with Preview command seen in Fig. 1 allows Photoshop to print and color manage your documents in one location. In order to look at all the options in this dialog, make sure you click on the More Options button. The Print with Preview dialog is a part of Photoshop, not a portion of a print driver. Once configured, we can tell Photoshop how to prepare a document for printing and then Photoshop will hand off the data to the print driver that will appear after clicking the OK button.


Click on image to see full size dialog in a new window.
Figure 1
This is the Print with Preview command in Photoshop CS2 with the Color Handling set to Let Photoshop Determine Color. The document is in ColorMatch RGB and will be converted with the output profile for my Epson 2200 using the relative colorimetric intent with Black Point compensation. The description area at the bottom of this dialog reminds you that Photoshop will perform the conversion for your printer.

Print
At the top of this dialog is an area named Print with two radio buttons—Document and Proof—that control how the current document will be printed, based on additional settings in this dialog. Document is a setting that affects only the current image, and is designed to deal with a single output device. In other words, you have a document and you simply want to send it to a single local printer. Next to the Document radio button is the name of the profile embedded in the document you are working with. If the document is untagged, this will be specified. It is a good idea to keep an eye on this area of the Print with Preview dialog as a useful reminder for ensuring that the color space of the document about to be printed is correct. It is possible to color manage a document for output prior to using the Print with Preview command. Therefore, seeing the current document color space is useful to ensure you do not apply a profile again in this dialog.

Proof
Just below the Document radio button is the Proof radio button. The Proof option produces a three-way color space conversion for proofing. Proof is a setting that allows us to specify a secondary conversion to a device. The idea is, we use our local printer to simulate another printing device. For example, I may wish to print a document to my Epson printer and have the output simulate a printing press. When Proof is selected, Photoshop can conduct a three-way color space conversion. Photoshop will produce a conversion from the current document color space, to the color space selected in the Proof Setup Preset pop-up menu. From that color space, a conversion is made for the final output device. When the Proof radio button is selected, the name of the print/output profile that will be used for the first conversion (document to proof) will appear; otherwise it will be grayed out with the label N/A.

To proof a document in Photoshop CS, first you had to select a proof setup before this feature could be accessed. In Photoshop CS2, any saved or currently loaded proof setup will be available from the Proof Setup pop-up menu in the Print with Preview dialog. The Working CMYK profile loaded in the color settings can be selected from the Proof Setup pop-up menu. Otherwise the functionality is still the same as the Proof radio button in Photoshop CS. Note there is a direct connection between the Proof Setup dialog used for producing a soft proof and the Proof Setup Presets in the Print with Preview dialog. We are expected to specify profiles and rendering intent in Proof Setup before we can use them for printing in Print with Preview. The Proof radio button and the options available based on the Color Handling pop-up are discussed next.

Options/Color Handling
The Print with Preview in Photoshop CS2 has a new pop-up menu called Color Handling, which toggles all the other elements in this dialog on or off depending on which menu item is selected. There are four menu items available. Some of these options were available in the Profile pop-up menu in Photoshop CS (see the cutout in figure 1). In Photoshop CS2, these options were moved to the Color Handling pop-up menu with new and more intuitive names. The Printer Profile pop-up menu now lists only the available profiles for conversions. Like the Convert to Profile command, all you have to do is select the ICC profile you wish to use for a color space conversion. The profile in this menu is always the print/output profile that will be used to convert from the original document color space to the output device. I mention this due to the Proof functionality, which adds one other print/profile that can be selected and is handled from the Proof Setup Preset menu. Figures 1 through 5 show the various options in the Color Handling pop-up menu and provide the functionality described next.

Let Printer Determine Colors
Let Printer Determine Colors is a setting that instructs Photoshop to send the document data and the embedded profile to the printer with the aim of having the print driver apply the print/output color space conversions. When Let Printer Determine Colors is selected from the Color Handling pop-up menu in Photoshop CS2, only the Rendering Intent pop-up menu is accessible when the Document radio button is used. This setting allows the document to be sent directly to the printer with no further color processing by Photoshop. Notice that when you put the cursor over the Color Handling pop-up menu, the description field reminds you of this, as seen in Fig. 2. The Rendering Intent pop-up menu is accessible since the resulting print driver is expected to conduct a color space conversion from the document color space. Only a few Postscript RIPs actually pay attention to this information; most RIPs and all non-Postscript drivers ignore it. Not all print drivers have provisions for applying an output profile. Since Photoshop has no way of knowing this, the functionality is provided nonetheless. If you are unsure whether your print driver can produce ICC color space conversions from these settings, it’s best to avoid this color handling option and instead use Let Photoshop Determine Colors, discussed next.


Click on image to see full size dialog in a new window.
Figure 2
Print with Preview in Photoshop CS2 with color handling set to Let Printer
Determine Colors. The Printer Profile pop-up menu is grayed out since this setting assumes the actual printer driver will utilize a print/output profile. The rendering intent can be specified should the driver be able to apply a color space conversion.

Let Photoshop Determine Colors
Let Photoshop Determine Colors is a setting that produces a color space conversion using an output profile once selected from the Printer Profile pop-up menu. This operation is nearly identical to the Convert to Profile command. If you prefer to apply an output profile at this point in the pipeline instead of using the Convert to Profile command, use Let Photoshop Determine Colors. Ensure the document is not already in a print/output space. Otherwise print/output is applied twice, which results in a very ugly print! The profile name listed next to the Document radio button is useful feedback to ensure the document is in the proper color space, as seen in Fig. 1.

Separations
A new and interesting option in the Color Handling pop-up menu is called Separations. This option is available only with CMYK documents. Selecting Separations will print the image as individual color channels. Some users have the need to output four separate color plates of a CMYK image. This option would allow the print driver to handle this kind of task. See Chapter 7 for more information about the four-color process. Notice in Fig. 3 that I’ve placed the cursor over the warning icon, which provides a reminder in the description field to disable color management.


Click on image to see full size dialog in a new window.
Figure 3
Print with Preview in Photoshop CS2 with the Color Handling set to Separations. This option is available only for CMYK documents. Here you can see the source space of this document is U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) U.S v2. All other options are grayed out. Selecting this option will send the four individual color channels to the printer separately. Notice toward the bottom of the dialog is a reminder to disable color management in the driver.

No Color Management
When the Color Handling pop-up menu is set for No Color Management, all the other options are grayed out. Selecting the No Color Management menu item from the Color Handling pop-up menu effectively turns off any output profile from being used. If you wish to send the data directly to the print driver untouched, No Color Management will do so without any alteration of the image data. This is functionally akin to the Same as Source option in Photoshop CS. When you place your cursor over the Color Handling pop-up menu, the description field reminds you of this fact.


Click on image to see full size dialog in a new window.
Figure 4
Print with Preview in Photoshop CS2 with the Color Handling set to No Color Management. Notice all the options are grayed out since this setting sends the data directly to the print driver. This is functionally akin to the Same as Source setting in Photoshop CS. Notice toward the bottom of the dialog is a reminder to enable color management in the driver. Also note that in this example, the document is untagged, which is indicated next to the Document radio button.

Proof Radio Button and the Options Settings
Selecting the Proof radio button provides the additional option to specify a second profile and rendering intent. This is accessed from the Proof Setup Preset pop-up menu or a currently configured soft proof. This is how you can conduct a three-way color space conversion. The rendering intent selected and saved in this custom Proof Setup is used for the first color space conversion from the document color space to this proof color space. Suppose you had a Proof Setup using the Working CMYK (U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2) profile with the relative colorimetric intent selected. That output profile and rendering intent is how the document-to-proof conversion will be applied. Notice that in Fig. 5, the conversion is from ColorMatch RGB to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. The cutout in Fig. 5 illustrates that the conversion would be using the relative colorimetric intent based on the Customize Proof Conditions dialog. The secondary conversion would be from U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 to the actual printer. In this example, I’m using an Epson 2200. The rendering intent in this part of the conversion is handled with the two Simulate check boxes, seen below the Proof Setup Preset pop-up menu. These check boxes behave like the Simulate check boxes discussed in the Customize Proof Setup. The main difference is these settings affect the rendering intent when printing. To review the behavior of these Simulate settings:

Simulate Paper Color and Simulate Black Ink Off: Convert using the relative colorimetric intent with Black Point compensation.

Simulate Ink Black: Convert using the relative colorimetric intent without Black Point compensation.

Simulate Paper Color: Convert using the absolute colorimetric intent (no Black Point compensation).

Simulate Paper Color produces the absolute colorimetric intent. This will produce a paper white simulation on the output to the Epson. When the Simulate Paper Color check box is on, Simulate Black Ink is turned on (and grayed out) by default. With the absolute colorimetric intent, Black Point compensation is always off. The absolute colorimetric intent never uses Black Point compensation. Although it is possible to conduct this proof conversion without using the Simulate Paper Color (and thus use the absolute colorimetric intent), this is not advised.

This Proof option can be used in two different ways based upon what is selected in the Color Handling pop-up:

Let Photoshop Determine Colors
Let’s examine the three-way conversion using the Proof plus Let Photoshop Determine Colors from the Color Handling pop-up menu. Once you select Let Photoshop Determine Colors, it is necessary to select the printer profile for the secondary printer from the Printer Profile pop-up menu. Then select a Proof Setup Preset as seen in Fig. 5. I’ve selected the Working CMYK preset, which happens to be the U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. Notice that next to the Proof radio button this ICC profile is listed. Therefore the three-way conversion is from ColorMatch RGB to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 and finally to the Epson 2200. The conversion from ColorMatch RGB to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 will use the relative colorimetric rendering intent since this is what was selected in the Proof Setup dialog. Because the Simulate Paper Color check box is on, the rendering intent from U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 to Epson 2200 will use the absolute colorimetric rending intent. This will produce the paper white simulation on the Epson to match the paper white of the CMYK print process.


Click on image to see full size dialog in a new window.
Figure 5
Here the Print with Preview in Photoshop CS2 with the Color Handling is set to Let Photoshop Determine Colors and the Proof radio button turned on for a three-way conversion. The Printer Profile pop-up menu is available for the print/output profile. Here I’ve selected the profile for final printer (Epson2200Matt). Photoshop will produce the three-way conversion from ColorMatch RGB to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 using the relative colorimetric intent, then a conversion to the Epson printer using the absolute colorimetric intent due to Simulate Paper Color option. The Customize Proof Setup dialog seen here indicates that the U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 profile and the relative colorimetric intent are selected. This is accessed from the Proof Setup Preset pop-up menu in Print with Preview.

Proof/Let Printer Determine Colors
If I wanted to produce a three-way conversion but have the print driver handle the third color space conversion, I can select Let Printer Determine Colors. This grays out the Printer Profile pop-up menu (as seen in Fig. 6) since I am expected to select this from the actual print driver. The functionality is the same as using the Proof radio button and selecting Let Photoshop Determine Colors if I could pick the Epson profile in the subsequent driver. Note in Fig. 6 that by placing the cursor over the warning icon, the description field places a reminder to enable color management in the driver. The assumption is that the final print driver has the ability to conduct color space conversions. If not, ignore this option and use Proof/Let Photoshop Determine Colors.


Click on image to see full size dialog in a new window.
Figure 6
Print with Preview in Photoshop CS2 with the Color Handling set to Let Printer Determine Colors and the Proof radio button turned on to produce a three-way conversion. The Printer Profile pop-up menu is grayed out since the assumption is that the printer driver will apply a print/output profile. Not all drivers can handle this kind of color management so be sure to check before using this method.

 


About Andrew Rodney
In early 1990 after graduating from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a BA in Photography, Andrew Rodney purchased his first color Macintosh system in order to run a new and revolutionary product called Adobe Photoshop. Andrew is one of only a handful of Adobe Certified Technical trainers for Adobe Photoshop in the country and has been a beta tester for Photoshop since version 2.5. Andrew specializes in color management solutions and training.

Andrew is also finishing up a new book, Color Management for Photographers : Hands on Techniques for Photoshop Users. This book addresses the difficult subject of color management in a way that can help you get real work accomplished. Complete with what-button-to-push-when explanations, this guide will help you navigate color management and further solidify comprehension of techniques with self-paced tutorials that enable you to practice what Rodney preaches.

This practical, learn by doing approach is enhanced by the accompanying CD-Rom which includes sample files for practice as well as tutorials and software.

Written with the photographer in mind, this book is also a great hands-on guide for graphic designers, those in prepress/print and, more generally, the majority of people who feel color management is too difficult. This book will help to explain this difficult concept in terms you can understand so that you may control and enhance your photographic vision.

Published by Focal Press, the book should be out late 2nd Quarter, 2005.

Andrew also provides custom printer profiles and color management consulting, for more info, visit Andrew’s web site, DigitalDog.net

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