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How to Print in Photoshop

About printing

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    Whether you are printing an image on your desktop printer or sending it to a prepress facility, knowing a few basics about printing will make the print job go more smoothly and help ensure that the finished image appears as intended.

    Types of printing

    For most users, printing a file means that the Adobe Photoshop application sends the image to an inkjet printer to print a photograph. Photoshop can send your image to a variety of printing devices to be printed directly onto paper or to be converted to a positive or negative image on film. In the latter case, the film can be used to create a master plate for printing by a mechanical press.

    Types of images

    The simplest types of images, such as line art, use only one color in one level of gray. A more complex image, such as a photograph, has color tones that vary within the image. This type of image is known as a continuous-tone image.

    Halftoning

    To create the illusion of continuous tones when printed, images are broken down into a series of dots. When printing photos on a printing press, this process is called halftoning. Varying the sizes of the dots in a halftone screen creates the optical illusion of variations of gray or continuous color in the image.

    Note: Although inkjet printers also use dots to create the illusion of continuous tones, they use a different type of screen process that does not vary the size of the dots. Instead, inkjet printers use dots that have a uniform size and that are much tinier than the dots used by most printing presses.

    Color separation

    Artwork that will be commercially reproduced and that contains more than a single color must be printed on separate master plates, one for each color. This process is called color separation and most commonly uses cyan, yellow, magenta, and black (CMYK) inks. In Photoshop, you can adjust how the various plates are generated.

    Quality of detail

    The detail in a printed image results from a combination of resolution and screen frequency. The higher an output device's resolution, the finer (higher) a screen ruling you can use. Many inkjet printer drivers offer simplified print settings for choosing higher-quality printing.

Printing images to a desktop printer

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    Unless you work in a commercial printing company or service bureau, you're probably printing images on a desktop printer--such as an inkjet, dye sublimation, or laser printer--and not to an image setter. Photoshop lets you control how your image will print.

Printing part of an image

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    You can use the Print Selected Area option to print a specific part of an image.

To print part of an image:

  1. Use the Rectangle Marquee tool to select the part of an image you want to print.
  2. Choose File > Print with Preview, select Print Selected Area, and click Print.
Printing vector graphics

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    If an image includes vector graphics, such as shapes and type, Photoshop can send the vector data to a PostScript printer. When you choose to include vector data, Photoshop sends the printer a separate image for each type layer and each vector shape layer. These additional images are printed on top of the base image, and clipped using their vector outline. Consequently, the edges of vector graphics print at the printer's full resolution, even though the content of each layer is limited to the resolution of your image file.

To print vector data:

  1. Choose File > Print with Preview.
  2. Select Show More Options, and choose Output from the pop-up menu.
  3. Select the Include Vector Data option. If necessary, you can choose an encoding algorithm from the Encoding pop-up menu.
Printing images to a commercial printing press


    Photoshop lets you prepare image files for printing by different types of commercial printing press, such as offset lithography, digital printing, and gravure.

Printing duotones

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    Photoshop lets you create monotones, duotones, tritones, and quadtones. Monotones are grayscale images printed with a single, nonblack ink. Duotones, tritones, and quadtones are grayscale images printed with two, three, and four inks. In these types of images, colored inks are used to reproduce tinted grays rather than different colors. This section uses the term duotone to refer to duotones, monotones, tritones, and quadtones.

Using online services

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    The Online Services feature allows you to send images from Photoshop to remote service providers, such as Photo Printing partners and Online Sharing companies. The service list may be updated each time you select the Online Services command, so check it occasionally for new services.

To select an online service:

  1. Choose File > Online Services.
  2. In the Online Services Assistant dialog box, choose a service from the list.

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