Printed output very different from screen

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by junk, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. junk

    junk Guest

    When I print a file created with Photoshop CS2 (a web-optimized
    128-color gif), the print-out looks VERY different from what is on the
    screen. I don't think this is a Photoshop problem, but I'm stumped.

    You can see the file at:

    The image is a green line with a thin black border. Regardless of the
    program used to view the file, the green line has two obvious shades of
    green. However, when I print this from any app (e.g., Photoshop, Word,
    IE, Picture Viewer, etc.) the green appears to be just one shade. I've
    tried printing this on a new HP 4650DN and a less-than-a-year-old
    Lexmark 810 printer.

    I am really quite stumped. I have certainly seen times when images
    appear different on the screen (e.g., trimmed to web colors), but I've
    never seen an entire color lost on printed output.



    junk, Nov 13, 2005
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  2. junk

    Mike Russell Guest

    The image has 32 colors in the table, and appears to be a 5 bit optimized
    indexed image, not a web optimized image.

    Check your printer driver settings and make sure they are in "picture" mode
    or the equivalent. I suspect that your printer driver is set to graphics
    mode, and colors are being modified driver to maximize saturation, but I
    can't reproduce this. Also try converting the image to 24 bit RGB before
    Mike Russell, Nov 14, 2005
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  3. junk

    junk Guest

    Thanks Mike.

    When you print from your browser, do the two major shades of green
    print? If so, what OS and browser?

    The printer is setup for ICM Intent: Pictures. I tried it set to
    Graphics to see if it would help. It didn't.

    I tried converting it to a 16 bit RGB in PS and printed from the PS

    I tried printing with no color management and with "let printer
    determine the colors."

    I tried on a third printer with the same results.

    I from second computer with the same results.

    I printed to a pdf file (with a pdf "print" driver) and the shades DID
    appear in the pdf, although when I printed from the pdf to a printer
    the same thing happened.

    FYI, to create the gif, I copy a graphic from another program (which
    puts it on the clipboard), paste it into a PS as an RGB 8 bit document.
    Then chose Save for Web, GIF 128 Dithered. When I look at the colors
    during the web save, I can see there are only 23 colors in the color
    table (i.e., even though I'm picking 128). I expect Photoshop may save
    it as a 32 color even though I picked 128.

    It is hard for me to think this is a printer or computer problem,
    because it happens on three printers and two computers. It is hard to
    think it is a PS problem, because it views right in a bunch of
    different apps.



    junk, Nov 14, 2005
  4. junk

    Mike Russell Guest

    I printed from Photoshop to SnagIt, which is a software capture program that
    can simulate a printer.
    Actually that's the opposite of my idea - that you were already printing in
    graphics mode.
    16 bit should be about the same as 24 bit.
    Totally weird. Do normal photographs print OK? I don't see how the printer
    can determine that this is your image, and then screw up the colors. I'm
    still guessing it has something to do with the printer setup. Perhaps
    someone with a similar experience with printing indexed images will have
    something to say.
    Mike Russell, Nov 14, 2005
  5. junk

    tacit Guest

    Yes, that is correct.

    Those two shades of green you are seeing are bright, saturated RGB
    greens that can not be reproduced in CMYK. Color printers print in CMYK.
    They are incapable of reproducing that bright, saturated RGB green.

    Instead, they produce the nearest equivalent in CMYK. The closest CMYK
    equivalent to the shades of RGB green you are using are all the same.
    tacit, Nov 14, 2005
  6. junk

    Avery Guest

    I just printed it from IE to my old hp990 with standard setiings and
    plain paper. It looks fine as far as the colours go.

    I have no idea what the problem is but it is definitely something in
    your setup.
    Avery, Nov 14, 2005
  7. junk

    kctan Guest

    Your green is out of gamut for printing. Check it in PS CS2 color palette.
    Eyedrop the color and watch out for a triangle encloses an exclamation mark
    indicates out of gamut color.
    kctan, Nov 14, 2005
  8. junk

    Mike Russell Guest

    I think kctan has got it - good sleuthing.

    Use Photoshop's soft preview with just about any inkjet profile and you'll
    see the bright green fade to almost match the darker green near the edge.
    Mike Russell, Nov 14, 2005
  9. junk

    Avery Guest

    I don't understand this. I can print this image straight out of IE and
    get a clear definition between the two greens. What's the story?
    Avery, Nov 15, 2005
  10. junk

    Mike Russell Guest

    [re differentiating greens when printing this image}
    Chalk it up to different printers displaying colors differently.
    Mike Russell, Nov 15, 2005
  11. junk

    Mike Russell Guest

    Do you have any thoughts on why the colors would look different on your
    particular system, but not someone else's? Have you printed out a variety
    of green shades to see if they are all distinct, or is there a "cutoff"
    point where greens cannot get any brighter.
    Mike Russell, Nov 15, 2005
  12. junk

    Avery Guest

    No Mike, I guess I am not all that advanced at this stuff.

    It's just that I printed the image that was posted straight out of IE
    to my HP 990 and the two greens were quite distinct. When I read the
    reponses to say that the colour was out of gamut for CMYK and could
    not be reproduced my reaction has to be "Huh???" I would have thought
    that if it was out of range then it was out of range - I don't

    I have just printed the file, again from IE, to my Epson 2100 and the
    two shades of green are quite distinct - even more defined than on the
    HP. Just to be sure, I have now printed the file from Photoshop CS
    with the same results.
    Avery, Nov 15, 2005
  13. junk

    Avery Guest

    Is it possible that my prnters are set up incorrectly and are shifting
    the colours to a different gamut?
    Avery, Nov 15, 2005
  14. junk

    Mike Russell Guest

    Now you've done it, you got me curious. I'm going to do an actual printout

    [... printing ...]

    Well, the results are in. My printer is somewhere in the middle. It also
    prints the center of the green rod distinctly lighter than the edges, but
    the green is not as bright, and the difference in shade is much less than
    what I see on the screen. Photoshop and IE give about the same result.

    BTW - did you know you can open the image directly by pasting as the file name to open the file directly in
    Mike Russell, Nov 15, 2005
  15. junk

    Avery Guest

    I guess mine is pretty much the same , a distinct difference but not
    the same as the screen - I just put that down to the quality of the
    paper I have used, consistent with what I get when I print other
    stuff on plain paper as opposed to Epson photo paper.
    Avery, Nov 15, 2005
  16. junk

    junk Guest

    Thanks for the help.

    One fact that I left out (to avoid more confusion) was that the program
    that the image came from is a program my company wrote. The greens were
    something like RGB(0,255,0) and RGB(0,180,0). I am finding that if I
    mix in some R&B the colors do print better, although programically I'm
    still trying to figure how much of each to mix in to get the right
    appearance. It is interesting that some of you can see the shades; I
    tried with three computers and three printers (all on the same network)
    and could barely see the center green shading. Anyway, back to the
    paint-buckets to mix up different colors.

    Thanks again,

    junk, Nov 16, 2005
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