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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How to Print Images With Photoshop

If you use Photoshop then you must be aware of its fine printing capabilities. People create images with Photoshop mostly for web design or printing purposes. Let's discuss how you can print an image through the Photoshop interface the right way.

When printing through Photoshop there's one thing you need to be aware of, the dots per inch (dpi). This refers to how many dots per inch of paper, your printer can print. If you want a clearer image then you want more dots per inch. The more dots a printer can print in an inch of paper the better the quality. Printers are clarified according to the dots per inch they print. A printer which prints more dots per inch is generally better and more expensive.

The most commonly used dpi value for image printing is 300 dpi. Meaning that the printer will print 300 dots per inch of paper. That is, if your printer can actually print in that resolution which is very likely, unless you own a really old printer.

You can set the dpi of an image through the Photoshop menu:

Image > Image Size.. > Resolution

In the Resolution input box enter the value you want for your image. Your version of Photoshop might not mention dots per inch but pixels per inch, which is the same thing.

Now let's talk about the quality of ink for your image. This depends on your printer type. Inkjet printers for example can be cheap and they use jets of ink that they spray on paper. Ink quality is medium. Dye printers are more expensive than Inkjet printers and use a system to melt dots of dye that can generate over 16 million of colors. Ink quality is medium to high. Laser printers are very popular these days and they print in good quality. Ink quality is high. Last but not least there are the Thermal Wax printers that use blocks of wax that melt on the paper.

Now let's say you want to print an image through Photoshop. Before doing anything else go to:

File > Print with Preview

A dialog opens. Through that dialog you can set all kinds of properties for your image. For example you can define the position of the image on the piece of paper. You can specify the space you want to be left blank from top or bottom or you can let Photoshop center the image by ticking the "Center Image" check box.

Then you can define the scale of the image, it's height and width. I use the "Scale to Fit Media" check box a lot, since it lets Photoshop automatically adjust the printable size of the image.

Depending on your image you might want to print on portrait or landscape. You can change that through the "Page Setup..." button on the right of the dialog. A new dialog will appear that also allows you to choose the type and the size of paper you will use for printing.

Well, that's about it. All you have to do now is click the "Print..." button. Depending on your printer, a dialog will appear that will let you customize printer properties. For example you might want to print three copies of the image or tell the printer to use more or less ink. It's really easy to print images through Photoshop. I use this software all the time mostly for the "Scale to Fit Media" check box I mentioned above.

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