Photoshop Lightroom and
compatibility with the Leopard Print System.
Before discussing the procedure for configuring
Lightroom and the Epson printer drivers 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
Lightroom Journal. This article also allows users to provide
feedback on their own experiences when printing from Lightroom, so, I
would encourage you to give it a read.
The key point to take from the article and associated
user feedback is that even though Leopard may have shipped with drivers
for certain printers they are unlikely to be "fully" compatible with
the new operating system and/or some applications. That said, most of the printer vendors are at
time of writing this tutorial in the process of releasing newly updated
drivers that should be fully compatible. Focusing on Epson,
it seems that many of the new series 6.x drivers are working well with
Lightroom and Leopard, although it appears that there may be an issue
with the R1800. The variance between those drivers that are known to
work and those that don't likely explains why in some
regions Epson have defined them as beta, whereas in others they are listed
series 3.x printer drivers whether they be shipped with Mac OSX 10.5 or
downloaded from various Epson support sites are not "fully"
compatible with Lightroom 1.3.1. Therefore, printing
from Lightroom 1.3.1 with these drivers will result in double color
management (i.e. prints will tend to have a magenta color cast).
the release of Lightroom 1.4 full compatibility with Epson legacy
drivers (series 3.x) has been restored.
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.
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 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 lick OK to close the list.
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.
Figure 5 below is an example of how the Color
Management panel should look when this step is completed.
Figure 5 - Choosing an ICC Profile and Rendering Intent
Step 3 - Print Settings
Next up, the part of the process that appears to be
causing most confusion. Why? Because the Epson series 6.x drivers look
and behave differently to any previous drivers. Clicking on the
Lightroom Print Settings button will open the new driver and as can
be seen from figure 6 it's different, from the series 3.x drivers that
most Mac OSX users will be familiar with. Even so, there's really no
reason why it should be causing the degree of confusion that's being
reported on just about every web site with even a passing interest in
Lightroom and Leopard. So, the question still remains - why do
Lightroom users of all skill levels find the new Leopard compatible
drivers from Epson so confusing?
Answer - Color Matching!
Unfortunately, the new Epson driver color matching
panel 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 may well
be a symptom of the beta status that Epson USA have placed on the
drivers. 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 (R1800 may be an exception). So, being
able to access it or even change the settings within it seems
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.
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.
- 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 image or batch of images 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 and driver settings for you.
Click the Lightroom Print button.
Click the Epson Print button (note that you should
NOT need to change anything).
Tip: You can combine (d) and (e)
into one mouse click by holding down the Option key when clicking on
the Lightroom Print button.
23 February 2008 (Lightroom 1.4
update should make the following workaround redundant - 13-March-08)
Not long after publishing this tutorial it became
apparent that many Lightroom users were still experiencing some
difficulties when using custom media profiles. The problem usually
manifests itself in slight colour casts and/or dark prints. While it's
not clear where exactly in the print pipeline the problem lies a number
of users on the Adobe Lightroom User-to-User forum have
workaround (see post 17 by Jason Hicking) involving a minor but
nevertheless important adjustment within the Device section of
the Apple ColorSync Utility.
The following screenshot demonstrates the necessary
changes for a typical Epson printer. In this example I associate my
custom Epson Semigloss profile (built using Xrite ProfileMaker Pro
5.08) with the appropriate Epson media profile (i.e. Pro38 PSPP).
Apparently the same procedure will work with Canon and HP printers, but
I know next to nothing about either so can't offer any advice on how
the actual print driver needs to be configured.
Figure 8 - Apple ColorSync Utility
above procedure needs to be repeated for each Custom-Factory profile
combination it need only be carried out once.