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Problem centralising print in Photoshop

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  #1  
Old 05-16-2007, 05:20 AM
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Problem centralising print in Photoshop

I am printing on A4 with an image size of 18cm x 25cm to an Epson 950 Photo printer, but I cannot get the image consistently in the centre of the paper despite checking the centre image box. Image is often ofset to one side on the long side, but not always?
Any suggestions please?

Last edited by maverick911; 05-16-2007 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:04 AM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Mavrick

My brain functions in inches, not centimeters and I have no idea what the standard size is for A4. I assume you are printing through the Print with Preview dialog box in Photoshop where you can see the actual print preview, so does it look correct in the preview?

Also, I'm on a Mac and if you are on a PC, I don't know what options you have in printer setup or how to tell you how to access them, but do know that printing results are always more reliable when your Print SetUp and Prefs match the document size on the screen. On a Mac, this involves going to the Print SET UP screens and setting the correct paper size and orientation for the printer. THEN going to the PRINT dialog and making sure you are using the same paper dimensions.

Also, your Photoshop document should be the same as the physical size of the paper you are printing on otherwise, things may shift if PS has to reduce the screen document to place it on the paper because all printers have to deal with the physical margins it can print to. For example, my HP laser printer has a physical magin of 1/4 inch all the way around and on an 8.5 x 11 PS file any bleeds will get truncated unless I specify to reduce the print size to fit the print media and when I do that, the entire graphic is reduced by 1/2 inch vertical and horizontal and the end result is a smaller image than would print on a high res or wide format press.

I produce baronial fold over note cards with a debossed panel on the front fold where I place a PS graphic. Exact placement of the graphic within that panel is critical but I can hit it spot on on both my Epson 900 and Epson 1800. Sometimes the PS graphic has to be placed vertically within the panel, sometimes horizontally. I built a PS template to match the paper size with guides on the screen that show me where to place the graphic. My template is the exact size of the card, and I created a custom Printer SET UP for that paper. I also have to remember to physically set my printer(s) up so that the paper feeds from the very right edge of the paper feed tray. I also have to remember that though the graphic appears at the TOP of my screen in PS, I have to insert the note card "upside down" so that the debossed panel edge of card is the leading edge into the printer. I always get a dialog warning that the graphic is larger than the printer is capable of printing to because the printer wants those margins, but since I don't have anything that prints even close to the margins, I just click OKay and procede.

There are many things that could go wrong when printing to an ink jet printer. So it's hard to say exactly what is going on with your file, but I hope some of this helps.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:58 AM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Thank you very much for your comprehensive reply Swampy. Yes I am printing through Print with preview and the image looks central in the preview. I am sizing my image before I go to print. Do you think I should use a canvas size equal to the paper size and place the image on that on screen so that a border appears as the print will appear on the paper? Strange thing is that the result varies on different images. The other thing which is puzzling me is that some of my images are slightly over 7" on the 5 x 7 straight of the camera (Canon 30D) and need cropping for 7 x 5 format?
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:10 AM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Mavrick

>>Do you think I should use a canvas size equal to the paper size and place the image on that on screen so that a border appears as the print will appear on the paper?

Most defininetly! Set your PS document to the exact size of the media you will be printing on. Add bleeds if called for. Your proofs will not print the bleed, but if going to high res output they print on larger paper and then trim the paper. If your paper is not standard size, then create a custom Printer Setup for the exact size of your paper and place your images where you want them located on the printout. You shouldn't have problems even if you get the "requested print size is larger than the paper" if you keep your design well within the standard print margin capabilities of your printer. (This dialog is basically the printer driver saying "you've set up an 8.5x11 page, you are printing to and 8.5x11 piece of paper and I need xxx for print margins. What should I do? " If you have not told the print dialog box to "fit the imprint to the paper size", then when you click on Okay in this dialog, the printer will print as much of the image as it can within it's allotted margins for an 8.5x11 piece of paper. No problem if you don't have any design elements within that xxx margin that the printer needs.)

I don't know why your pics come out of the camera at different sizes unless you had changed the resolution of the pic at the camera between shots. I find that if my camer's battery is dead or has been removed for changing or re-charging, it loses it's settings and I get JPEGS instead of RAWs.
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:05 PM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Thanks again Swampy, most helpful. Could you just explain "Add bleeds"? I haven't come across that before.
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:38 PM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Add Bleeds... Think of almost any full page ad you have seen in a magazine where the background or photo goes all the way to the edge of the paper. That was created using a bleed. The document is set up anywhere for 1/8 to 1/4 inch larger on all sides than the intended print size and the graphic placed from the normal edge out through the bleed area. The piece is printed larger than it's intended use then that specified bleed area is trimmed off giving the illusion that the grapich was exactly the correct size. It would be impossible for the pressman to print thousands and thousands of magazines to that exact specification (where no white paper shows on the edges) so the piece is set up to bleed off the edge then be trimmed.

Most desktop layout programs such as InDesign have built in functions for this that show you a bleed margin around the outside edge of the actual document size. You can determine the bleed size at the time you set up the document.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:26 PM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Thanks again
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:21 AM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Hi Swampy. Well I have tried your suggestion. I took my image and sized it to 7" wide leaving the length to auto adjust. I made a new blank canvas the exact size of an A4 sheet. I then moved my image onto the new canvas and centralised it visually (is there a way to get a grid across the canvas?). Next step was Print with Preview where the image looked central with a white border. Printed it and still have a larger border at the bottom by 1 cm. Is there anything else I could do?
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Old 05-20-2007, 10:01 AM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Gee Maverick, Ya got me stumped. (BTW, in Photoshop you can "Show Grid, and in preferences you can set the color and size of the grid).

Have you tried nudging the image down 1/2 cm in the print dialog box by unchecking "center on page" and increasing the top margin placement in the adjustment area of the dialog?
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:14 PM
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Re: Problem centralising print in Photoshop

Yes I have. I printed an image and it was off centre. So I unchecked the Centre of Image box and changed the top position and it was spot on. Then I printed a different image with the same setting and it went off - Infuriating!! Guess I will have to trim the paper on each print. Thanks for the reply.
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