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Chapter 9. Hardcopies Made Easy >  Tips for Getting the Best Digital Prints

Tips for Getting the Best Digital Prints

If you make prints from your digital images yourself, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind to get the best quality and best economy.

  • Use Photoshop’s provision for calibrating your monitor, using the Adobe Gamma Control Panel (Windows and Mac OS 9.x and earlier) or the Apple Calibration Utility (Mac OS). You’ll find instructions for using the Adobe tool in Chapter 6. Your scanner also may have calibration procedures to help match your scanner’s output to your printer. This will help ensure that what you see (on your monitor) is what you get (in your prints). If you’re an advanced worker, learn to use the color matching software provided with your particular printer. Every device comes with different software, so we can’t cover them here, but most have wizards and other tools to let you calibrate or characterize your equipment quickly.

  • As mentioned earlier, if image quality is important to you, get the best glossy photographic paper for printing out your images. Experiment with several different stocks to see which you like best. You’ll probably find that the paper offered by your printer manufacturer will be fine-tuned for your particular printer, but you needn’t limit yourself to those products.

  • Don’t ruin one of those expensive sheets to a paper jam. If you’re making prints one at a time, load your printer with one sheet of photo paper each time. Load multiple sheets only if you want to print many pages unattended, and even then make sure that only photo paper is loaded.

  • Remember to clean your inkjet’s print heads periodically and keep the printer’s rollers and paper path clean. You’ll avoid blurry or spotted prints and unwanted artifacts like visible lines.

  • Don’t touch your prints after they’ve emerged from the printer. Give them a chance to dry before you handle them. If you can’t spread them out individually and must place them in stacks, put a sheet of plain paper between your prints so that any ink won’t transfer to the print above.

  • Experiment with special paper stocks that let you get even more use from your digital prints. You’ll find paper designed especially for making t-shirt transfers, fabric printing, making greeting cards, or creating overhead transparencies.

  • Don’t enlarge digital camera images more than the resolution of your camera allows. Use these guidelines as a rule of thumb. The sensor dimensions in pixels are approximate, as different digital cameras offer different sized sensors in the same megapixel range:



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