Get Pictures Ready for Printing in Photoshop Elements - dummies

Get Pictures Ready for Printing in Photoshop Elements

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

The first step toward getting your photos to your desktop printer is to prepare each image for optimum output in Photoshop Elements. You have several considerations when you’re preparing files, including the ones in this list:

  • Set resolution and size. See your printer’s documentation to find out what resolution the manufacturer recommends. As a general rule, 200 to 300 ppi (pixels per inch) works best for most desktop printers printing on high-quality paper. If you print on plain paper, you often find that lower resolutions work just as well or even better.

  • Make all brightness and color corrections before printing. Make sure that your pictures appear their best before sending them off to your printer. If you have your monitor properly calibrated, you should see a fair representation of what your pictures will look like before you print them.

  • Decide how color will be managed before you print. You can color-manage output to your printer in three ways. Know your printer’s profiles and how to use them before you start to print your files.

  • Get your printer ready. When printing to desktop color printers, always be certain your ink cartridges have ink and the nozzles are clean. Make sure you use the proper settings for paper and ink when you send a file to your printer. Be sure to review the manual that came with your printer so you know how to perform all the steps required to make a quality print.

Various sources offer alternatives for purchasing inks. You can purchase third-party inks for your printer, use refillable ink cartridges, or have your printer modified to hold large ink tanks that last much longer than the manufacturer-supplied cartridges. These alternatives provide you with significant savings when purchasing inks.

However, using any inks other than manufacturer-recommended inks can produce color problems. Each developer provides printer profiles specific for their recommended inks. With third-party inks, you don’t have the advantage of using color profiles that have been tested by a printer manufacturer. If getting the most accurate color on your prints is important to you, use only those inks and papers recommended by your printer manufacturer.