compatibility with the macOS Print System
Before discussing the procedure for configuring
Lightroom and the various printer driver settings for application color
management it's important that we understand what is meant by
Leopard compatible. However, rather than me trying to put my slant on
things I'll leave it to the Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty. Tom
has put together an excellent article that describes why Lightroom and
printer drivers needed to be updated for Leopard. His article can be
found at the
The key point to take from
Tom's article and associated
user feedback is that even though Leopard and subsequently Snow Leopard
may have shipped with drivers for a range of printers they may not be "fully" compatible with
the new operating system and/or some applications. That said, most of
the printer vendors have began the process of updating drivers for their more recent models.
Therefore, they should be fully compatible. Focusing on Epson, it seems that
many of the new series 6.x drivers are working well with Lightroom, Leopard
and Snow Leopard.
The printer driver screen shots used throughout this tutorial are for
the Epson Stylus PRO 3800. However, most recent Epson models will use
similar driver settings.
Print Setup Step-by-Step
This tutorial will concentrate on what is known as
application color management, which basically means that the ICC
profile associated with a particular paper/ink combination must be
selected in Lightroom rather than the print driver itself. Also, since
the tutorial is intended to be useful to new and existing Lightroom
users I will also include some of the basics associated with Page
Setup and saving Print Templates. With print templates
(sometimes referred to as presets) you can avoid having to configure
the driver every time you want to make a print.
Figure 1 - click image for larger view
Step 1 - Page Setup
Regardless of printer, paper, ink etc the first thing
you should do before attempting to make a print is to decide on the
paper size and orientation that will be used.
Figure 2 - Page Setup
In the Print module click on Page Setup button (figure 2,
shown above will appear).
Ensure that the correct printer is selected.
Select the Paper Size that you intend to print
Select the correct orientation (example shows
landscape to match with image in figure 1).
Ensure that Scale is set to 100% (for best
quality do not scale images in page setup).
Click OK button when satisfied that everything is
Step 2 - Print Job Setup
Figure 3 below shows how the Print Job panel
looks before a profile has been selected (i.e. color management is
handled by the printer). This is the step where you configure Lightroom
so that it handles the image to print color management. As noted above
this is more commonly referred to as application color management and
requires the user to select an ICC media Profile and
Note: For the purposes of this tutorial I
will assume that your Print Job panel is configured as shown in
figure 3 below.
Figure 3 - Color Managed by Printer
Figure 4 - Available ICC Profiles
Click the pop-up labelled Profile: Managed by
Printer. The drop-down menu will either contain multiple ICC
profiles or just Managed by Printer and Other. If no profiles are
listed you will need to select Other, then choose from those
available in the ColorSync folder (figure 4 shows an example of the
profiles available to me). You MUST tick the profiles before they
become available in Lightroom then click OK to close the list.
Next you configure the output settings to match your
particular requirements (see figure 5 below).
Figure 5 - Choosing the output settings
Set the Print Resolution to On or Off.
Typically, the default value is 240 ppi, but you can type in any
value you like. For example, with the Epson 3800 a value of 360 ppi
tends to be preferred as it's the native resolution of this
particular printer. When the Print Resolution is Off Lightroom will
vary the resolution of the original photo and scale the print to the correct size without up/down sampling. When
set to On Lightroom will maintain the print resolution at the setting
shown (e.g. 240 ppi) and scale the print by up/down sampling the print. In general it is
best left off.
(Update: Lightroom 3
and higher supports print resolutions up to 720 ppi. Unless your printing
images from very high resolution medium format cameras it's unlikely
that you'll ever need to use values this high.)
Set the Print Sharpening to your preferred
setting (i.e. Off, Low, Standard or High).
The actual amount of output or sharpening applied to the print will be
determined automatically by Lightroom, and will depend upon the media
type and print resolution.
Select the Media Type (i.e. Glossy or Matte).
Glossy is best suited to: glossy, semi-gloss, lustre or Baryta type
papers. Matte is best suited to matte, rag and other rough surface
If your printer driver supports 16 Bit Output then
it's usually worth switching this mode to On.
Select the Profile that you wish to print with.
Set the rendering intent to Relative or
Perceptual. For most situations Relative is likely to produce the
best results, but it's always worth making a print with Perceptual to
see if it improves anything.
Step 3 - Print Settings
Next up, the part of the process that appears to cause
the most confusion. Why? Because the Epson series 6.x drivers look
and behave differently to any previous Epson drivers. Clicking on the
Lightroom Print Settings button (figure 6) will open the new
print driver (figure 7).
Figure 6 - Print settings
Figure 7 - Print Settings Options
be seen from figure 7 it's different, from the series 3.x drivers that
many Mac OS X users will be familiar with. Even so, there's really no
reason why it should have caused the degree of confusion reported on just about every web site with even a passing interest in
Lightroom and macOS 10.5 and higher. So, the question still remains - why do
Lightroom users of all skill levels find the macOS compatible
drivers from Epson so confusing?
Answer - Color Matching!
the Epson driver color matching
panel in newer drivers is giving users access to a feature set that isn't really
appropriate when using application color management Further
confusion arises when they revisit the panel and find that it's greyed
out and doesn't match with the settings they had previously applied.
So, what's the workaround?
Answer - Ignore Color Matching!
Yes, you read right - ignore Color Matching. You may
well ask why I recommend ignoring this particular panel. Unfortunately,
I can't give a definitive answer, but will point out that the same
panel is greyed out when the driver is accessed via the Lightroom
Print button and when application color management is used with
Photoshop. Some might argue that this behavioural discrepancy is a
Lightroom bug, but others, myself included don't agree. In fact, if all is working well with the driver the
settings chosen in Lightroom at step 2 above should and do override the
printers internal color matching.
OK, so now I get back to the only panel within the
Epson Print dialog that does need to be configured i.e. Print
Select Print Settings from the pop-up menu that
normally displays Layout (figure 8 below should open).
Choose the Media Type that matches with the
profile selected in step 2 above.
Color Settings should be switched to Off
(No Color Adjustment). This option is critical in so far as Off
will prevent the print driver carrying out any color matching,
instead leaving it to Lightroom.
Print Quality and any other model specific
options (e.g. speed, detail, etc) can be set to match whatever you
normally use. For best quality it's usually better that the highest
print resolution is selected whilst leaving High Speed off. Depending
on the media type selected earlier Finest Detail may be set to On and
Click the Save button when all the options are
set correctly. This will ensure that the settings are stored and
ready for creating a Print Template.
Figure 8 - Final Print Settings
Step 4 - Print Templates
For many Print Templates are a real boon, but
for others their behaviour is a complete mystery that often leads to
frustration. This section of the tutorial is therefore intended to help
clear up the mystery. and may be some of the frustration.
Print templates can be used store the: page size and
layout design, print resolution and sharpening settings, Lightroom
color management settings, and printer driver settings.
Figure 9 - New Template
Having clicked the Save button in step 4 above you
should now press Cmd+N keys to create a new print template
(you can also find this as an option on the Lightroom Print menu at
the top of your screen).
When the New Template dialog appears insert a
descriptive name (e.g. Pro3800 - A4 Epson Prem-Gloss Landscape).
This example includes the printer model, page size, media and
orientation. Also, note that you should leave the template location
(i.e. Folder) at the default, which is User Templates.
Click the Create button and the new template
should appear within the User Templates section of the Template
Browser on the left side of Print module window as shown
in figure 10 below.
Figure 10 - Lightroom Print Templates
- any changes (inadvertent or deliberate) that you subsequently make on
the right side panels will override the active print template.
Fortunately, you can easily determine which, if any, print template is
active because it will be highlighted in the Template Browser. If none
are highlighted make sure that you select the appropriate template
before making a print.
Tip: To update
an existing print template with new settings you should Ctrl+click
the name in the Template Browser, then choose Update with current
settings from the context menu.
If everything has been setup correctly you should find
making a print should now be a relatively straight forward process:
Select the photo or batch of photos that you wish to
Switch to Print module.
Select a print template from Template Browser, this
will automatically configure the page size and layout, profile,
rendering intent, sharpening and driver settings for you.
Click the Lightroom Print One button. This
button by-passes the main print dialog and will print only one copy
of each select photo.
Remember Rule 5 - Enjoy!