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Speed Freak: troubleshooting tips > MAKING YOUR COLOR PRINTOUTS MATCH YOUR MONI...

MAKING YOUR COLOR PRINTOUTS MATCH YOUR MONITOR

Are the images that come out of your color inkjet printer looking much different from what they looked like onscreen in Photoshop? Are the images oversaturated and do they just look unnatural? There could be a host of reasons, but one of the first things to check is which color mode you're in when you're printing. Many people switch to CMYK mode before printing their image, because, after all, their printer has four inks: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The problem is, you're not printing color separations, where you get four sheets from one image—one cyan, one magenta, one yellow, and one black. Instead, you're printing a composite image (one page with all the colors, rather than four separate sheets). So in most cases, you should stay in RGB mode for results that will better match your screen. Most color inkjets produce much more accurate results when you're using RGB images (the printers actually do a special RGB-to-CMYK conversion in the printer driver to make use of the CMYK inks, but if you do it first, all hell breaks loose). Not sure if this is true? Try a test on your printer: Print the same image twice—once in RGB mode, then convert the exact same image to CMYK and try again. In just a few seconds, you'll have the definitive answer.


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