Custom Print Profile - Windows Instructions
Below is a list of instructions for printing out the test charts for printer custom printer profiles on the Windows OS. There are four main steps required to successfully output a test chart from which we make the printer profiles. These are
- Checking the printer nozzles are all operating correctly
- Downloading and opening the targets
- Opening the files using the appropriate printing software
- Choosing the correct printer driver settings.
These steps are set out below. Note that these instructions refer to the use of the EPSON range of Photo printers. If you have a Canon or HP machine, the bulk of these instructions remain valid but the print driver instructions will change.
Our test charts consist of either 2 A4 pages or 1 A4 page making up 1248 test patches. Click on the image of the test chart to download the appropriate chart(s).
|Test Chart File Name||Test Chart Description||Download File|
|RGB_02.ZIP||2 RGB files consisting of1248 patches.2 X A4 pages. Suitable for profiling RGB inkjet and photographic printers. Larger patches for more accurate profile.|
|RGB_01.ZIP||RGB files consisting of 1248 patches. 1 X A4 page. Suitable for profiling RGB inkjet and photographic printers. Smaller patches, more ecconomical paper use.|
We advise that you note down the settings that you printed the charts with and even save them as a printing preset in the print driver for repeated use. Once the profile is made, subsequent prints will need to be printed using the same settings.
Clean Printer Nozzles
The first step in printing the chart is to use the printing utility that comes with the printer to run a nozzle check on the print head. If there are blocked nozzles the resulting print will not be suitable for making a profile from. You can usually access the Printer Utility from inside the print driver while printing or via the Control Panel. This process may vary depending on operating system and utility version. The screen shots below are from Windows 7. The Devices and Printers can be accessd from the Control Panel. Select your printer and then right click on the printer icon to get access to the Printer Preferences.
When the Print Preferences appears find the area where the print utility or maintenance tolls are kept. In the case of the Epson driver it is on the Tab called Utility. Click on this tab.
Click on Nozzle Check and follow the instructions there. If your test print shows nozzle problems then use the cleaning tools built into the utility (Head Cleaning in the example above).
When the nozzles are shown to be clean and the printer ready to go move onto printing the testcharts.
To print the test charts we recommend using the Adobe Color Print Utility (ACPU). This is a special utility designed for printing test charts without any colour conversions taking place. This gives us a snapshot of the raw colour output of the printer using a particular paper, printer, ink & resolution. The ACPU is a free download that can be found at the Adobe website. There is a version for Windows and Mac OS X.
Download the utility and follow the instructions on the Adobe website to instal it on your system.
Print Test Charts Using the Adobe Color Print Utility
As soon as you open the ACPU you will be prompted to open a TIFF file of the Test chart you need to print. ACPU only opens TIFF files.
Choose the test chart you are going to print and click Open.
Choose Print Setup
Choose A4 Sheet and Landscape as the orientation. You can use roll paper if desired, if so create a custom paper size in the Printer Properties.
Choose your printer from the popup menu and then click Properties
Choose the appropriate print settings for the paper you are printing on.
For example, use a matte black ink for any matte papers like Hahnemuhle PhotoRag, Canson Rag Photographique or Museo Portfolio Rag. Use PhotoBlack for papers like Ilford Gold Fibre Silk, Premium Glossy or Lustre, Canson Baryta or Canson Photosatin.
Choose a resolution that provides the highest quality without banding or too heavy an ink load that results in pooling on the paper.
Use "Off (No Colour Adjustment)" in the Color Settings where allowed by the print driver. This will give you maximum ink density and gamut for your chosen paper. In the above example this option is greayed out as it is set automatically by the application. Yours may or may not do this depending on the age of the printer.
Also check the Page Layout is set on Landscape.
Some other print settings that can have an effect on your print quality can be found under Paper Config... and Quality Options as shown below:
Often matte papers do not need to be profiled on the highest quality setting, Quality 4 is usually fine. If you see any banding on your prints using Quality 4, change to Quality 5 (sometimes called Best Photo on earlier systems and printers).
It is important that the settings that you use to print your profile charts are the same settings you use to print your subsequent images. The best way to ensure this is to save your settings as a preset. Save a new preset for each paper that you use, even if they have the same settings. On the Main Tab choose Save/Del... and give the preset a name and click save.
You now can choose the print settings with one click from the Select Settings popup on the Main Tab.
When you are going to print images, choose this preset first, then change other non colour critical options such as page size and orientation to suit the image.
If you have any doubts about the print settings for your printer and paper combination please contact us for advice prior to printing out your charts.
Click OK to print the chart.
Leave the print(s) to dry (don't stack them straight out of the printer as sometimes the ink is still tacky and the prints can stick together). Download and print the Mail Order Profile order form and fill in the details.
When dry, place leaves of plain A4 paper between the sheets and sandwich the stack between two pieces of stiff card and place the prints and order form into an envelope. Please include a cheque, credit card details, money order or direct deposit confirmation for $55 per profile (see Payment Options) in the envelope and post to:
69 Wellesley Street
We will read the charts and make a profile for your selected paper and email the resulting profile to you together with a tax Invoice and instructions on how to install and use it.