I hope I'm not duplicating a new topic. I thought I opened this topic yesterday but I don't seem to be able to locate it in this forum. So, I'll try again. This is a pivotal CS4 question re printer set-up for grayscale images with and without b&w profiles.
When setting up print parameters for a Grayscale image in PS CS4 I no longer have the option to select "No Color Management." It seems to be available to RGB images but not grayscale. Which leads to the question as to how I set up print parameters to print grayscale images using Advanced Black & White mode. Can you help?
My printers are Epson 9800 and 7800. I'm working from Mac Intel, OSX 10.5.5. Prior to CS4, when printing grayscale images (ABW, QTR, made no difference) I could alway chose "No color Management" in the print dialog box. In CS4 that option is not available unless I convert to RGB first. So, what's the newly recommended way to proceed with grayscale images? Particularly those without proriles?
To restate the question with a more practical spin:
Is anyone grappling with the fact that in CS4 it is not possible to select "No Color Management" when printing grayscale files? And, even though "No Color Management" is available when printing RGB files it is not possible to print "black & white" RGB files to ABW if "No Color Management" is selected. It seems that the only time "No Color Management" is available is printing an RGB file and selecting the "Color" print mode in the basic printer settings box and using any of the color mode drop down choices including "Off - No color management"
A practical problem I'm having as a result is making ABW profiles for my Epson printers (9800/7800):
Typically I'd use an untagged, grayscale target image to make a black & white profile (for ABW, not QTR) and then select "No Color Management" and then print using ABW. Since Photoshop CS4 won't allow me to chose "No Color Management" with a grayscale file I'm left with only two choices: "Printer Manages Color" or "Photoshop Manages Color." Intuitively neither choice seems a good one but, since letting Photoshop manage color is the wrong choice, it seems letting the printer manage color wins by default.
I just received two somewhat different responses to my growing circle of inquiries re the CS4 print dialog. Both are from well known, contemporary authors on profiling, color management and black & white printing. I didn't ask if I could credit them so for now I'll keep that confidential. But, you might like to see what they say on the subject of ABW profiling from b&w targets in the new PsCS4:
In 10.5 Apple has pulled back support for "No CM" so your best bet for
profiling targets is to use Printer Manages color and then make sure
the print driver is set to CM off. When set to Printer manages color,
PS just passes along embedded profile and rendering intent info. PS
does no conversion on its own, it just makes profile and rendering
intent info available to the print driver. Whether the driver receives
that info correctly and/or knows what to do with it depends on the
particular print driver. But for most current drivers Printer Manages
color should provide identical results as No CM; with the appropriate
You can either use Let Printer Manage color, or better I think, select Adobe RGB (1998) as the working (printer) space when using Let Photoshop Manage color. Then use ABW.
Beside what does anything that Apple supposedly did have to do with your original problem? With a grayscale image In PSCS3 you could choose "No Color Management" and in PSCS4 you can't. Both using the exact same driver/OS combo.
As it turns out my original problem has led into a more serious set of color management changes found in CS4. In my case, for instance, I'm finding it difficult to determine the correct way to print untagged, ABW grayscale profiling targets. Others are having similar difficulties with color profiling. Other forums are buzzing as people migrate to PSCS4: Here are just a few examples that hopefully will attract Adobe attention here:
Sounds like this should be raised in the PS forums where Chris Cox
will pick it up. (I raised the colour mgt issues of Bridge there and
they picked that up.)
The deeper explanation going on here has to do with printing interfaces on OS X changing over time. In the past, some printer drivers (notably Canon, with its older iPF series printers) did not interpret the image data appropriately and thus had incorrect driver settings that could not be reset by the user. Photoshop CS3 worked around some of these issues for specific drivers, but did not conform to Apple's OS X specifications for how to pass image data to the print driver, leading to problems elsewhere. With CS4, Adobe has taken the approach of conforming to Apple's latest print driver interface specifications, so CS4 now has the same behavior as LR with regards to printing on OS X.
However, many print drivers have not been updated to conform to the OS X printing interface, and thus some folks are experiencing printing issues, such as double color-management. This is unfortunate, but it really needs to be addressed by the printer drivers.
Now, back to the ABW situation: I don't know if Epson has a glitch with the ABW driver under the latest OS X release. I have occasionally seen what you've seen: i.e., I hit "Print" in PS CS4 and nothing comes out. But then I mess around a little with the Epson printer driver configuration and then it works.
In particular, I found that if I had an older "saved setting" or preset within the Epson driver that I used to recall a particular ABW driver setting, then it would fail. So I deleted all my Epson driver presets and started again from scratch (manually selecting media type, color mode, ABW settings, paper config, etc.) Then I haven't had any trouble printing ABW images since.
I've done some testing of various color management approaches and it is indeed
Here's what I've deduced using CS3 and CS4 with drivers printing stepwedges.
CS3 with No Color Mgmt I consider the "correct" result. The driver gets 21
evenly stepped values.
With CS4, only Photoshop Manages Color with Print Profile = Working Gray Space
gives the identical results. (assuming grayscale, untagged file).
Printer Manages Color makes a default conversion to Generic Gray Profile which
is a gamma 1.8 profile. If you happen to use GG 1.8 as a working space this conversion may not hurt but if you use GG 2.2 it'll darken the print. I think this has been true in PS for
To make things more complicated OS X 10.5 has a new print dialog pane called
Color Matching which allows you to select Colorsync vs driver based mode and ICC profiles. I
don't know how this will affect things -- I'd leave it alone.
No Color Management is selectable with an RGB file but I just got blank pages
with this option.
-- QTR definitely received a blank page from the system. This is probably
related to your
ABW printing not working.
Note that the CS4 documentation specifically states to use No CM for making
custom ICC profiles.
>To make things more complicated OS X 10.5 has a new print dialog pane called
Color Matching which allows you to select Colorsync vs driver based mode and ICC profiles. I
don't know how this will affect things -- I'd leave it alone.
This where we are getting bit with the Canon drivers. The Color Matching options are grayed out and they are defaulting to Color Colorsync when printing from LR2 and CS4.
I am not sure what printer you are using but you might want to check if there is a PS plugin for it. The Canon iPF printers have a plugin that bypasses all this Application/OS/Printer Driver silliness.
You might find this interesting. The Canon just released Digital Photo Professional 3.5.1 has exactly the same problem. This is the first non Adobe product that I know of that has the same issues.
I will likely post an article with details later, but the short answer to King's question (how to print untagged gray/RGB images for the use of profiling for the ABW driver with CS4 and Leopard) is the following:
Take your untagged gray target and choose "Assign Profile" and assign the profile "Gray Gamma 1.8". In PS CS4's Print box, choose "Printer Manages Color" from the Color Handling menu. This makes the Rendering Intent menu active, but that does not matter; ignore it. In the Epson driver, choose your desired driver settings (enable ABW at the least, of course). Print.
If your untagged target is in RGB mode (like mine is), do exactly the same as above but instead of choosing Gray Gamma 1.8, assign ProPhoto RGB to the image instead. (PP RGB also has a gamma encoding of 1.8.)
The gamma of 1.8 is essential. If you try using gamma 2.2, Adobe RGB, or sRGB, you will not get the correct result.
"If your untagged target is in RGB mode (like mine is), do exactly the same as above but instead of choosing Gray Gamma 1.8, assign ProPhoto RGB to the image instead. (PP RGB also has a gamma encoding of 1.8.)"
If the image is in RGB mode, why wouldn't you just choose "No Color Management" as before? What does the driver see differently between "No Color Management" and "Photoshop Manages Colors"? I'm trying to understand what's going on here and why the changes.
Hi Stephen, good question. The issue is that, currently, if you attempt to use "No Color Management" in Photoshop CS4's Print box -- as you describe -- followed by selecting the Advanced B&W Photo mode in the Epson driver, nothing will happen. In other words, the printer simply does not print. Hence the workaround I described in Post #14.
(Note that this workaround is only needed for the specific configuration of PS CS4 + Epson ABW + Mac OS X Leopard.)
Eric, thanks for your reply. Maybe Adobe needs to sort out the weirdness that's been going on between them and Apple over the printer driver interface, rather than doing this in such a cavalier fashion that impinges on day to day use of their product. The more I look at CS4 (I already have seven bug reports in the system, most of which are pretty obvious) the less I think it's ready for prime time.
The problem of ABW profiling and ABW workflow in CS4 is still unresolved. Specifically, PSCS4, LR2 and Mac Leopard are all presently having trouble living together. This manifests in particular when it comes to using ABW profiles for b&w output in LR2 or PSCS4. In CS4, profiled printing using "Photoshop Manages Color" and the ABW driver do not produce expected results. Until this situation is resolved it is recommended that PSCS3; CS3 ABW profiles and "Photoshop Manages Color" be used for accurate printing to the ABW driver.
The situation is maddening since it restricts controlled ABW printing as well as profiling in LR2 and PSCS4. The situation is being aggressively pursued with "The Big Three" Adobe, Apple & Epson.
Adobe HAS been working with Apple to resolve the driver issues. That's why things (mostly) improved in CS4. There are some problem drivers still out there, and some manufacturers won't update/fix their older drivers.
What are "ABW" profiles?
Photoshop Manages Color should be producing correct results with valid profiles and any recent printer driver (if the driver doesn't follow the rules, then Apple nor Adobe can make it do the right thing).
There is a very BIG problem with regard to ABW printing in PSCS4 and LR2. I'll try and get you the specifics, but rest assured printing grayscale files in CS4 using Photoshop Manages Color, a custom (ABW) profile and the ABW driver yield unpredictable and unacceptable results. This was not the case in PSCS3. The process worked perfectly in CS3. It seems that we also should be able to use the same profiles and ABW workflow in CS4 but that is not the case. This leads to the conclusion that something has changed in CS4. And, as far as ABW workflow is concerned, this change is so far, not for the better. Exhaustive testing has been on-going by myself and several others since the problem was discovered. All of which corroborates what I'm referring to. I'll do my best to get you up to speed off line since the testing and experimentation data is much too voluminous to post. I'm sure we all look forward to your future comments.
Chris, check with Eric Chan about these...he's got one of the most helpful pages on the Web about using Advanced Black and White mode on the Epson 3800, and he is a source of ABW profiles.
>Adobe HAS been working with Apple to resolve the driver issues. That's why things (mostly) improved in CS4. There are some problem drivers still out there, and some manufacturers won't update/fix their older drivers.
Yes but you did not have to make the choices that you did in trying to control something in the printers drivers. You don't do it in ID or IL.
These are profiles invoked with "Photoshop Manages Color" intended to linearize Epson's Advanced Black & White mode. ABW does offer different tone curve settings, but it makes assumptions about the gamma of the incoming data which the ABW profiles correct for. The profiles are created by printing a step-wedge with "No Color Management" and selecting ABW in the driver and the bit fit of tone curve to the paper. The step-wedge is then measured with a spectro and a profile created (with something like QTR-Create-ICC from the QuadToneRIP package). The end result is very linear output with optimal shadow detail, especially when the input data is in a space with L* gamma. Now you know.
This may be a naive question but what's to stop Adobe from restoring "No Color Management" to the menu, doing a null transform and presenting the data to the driver as though "Photoshop Manages Color" had been selected? I think we all appreciate that Adobe, Apple & Epson have to get their ducks in a row to make this work properly, but there has to be a better approach than the one currently adopted by Adobe.
Here's something that should work too to make use of the Epson ABW printer settings.
In the Photoshop CS4 print window, just use "Photoshop Manages Color" and click the Print... button.
When the Mac OS Print dialog window opens, you can then use the Pulldown Menu (where you can change Layout etc.) under the Presets to make adjustments to color management to how the printer will output the print job.
That's a good idea. Unfortunately, that still doesn't work correctly under Leopard. (i.e., the results from that effort will not match the results from printing under Tiger, or from printing under Windows with CS4, nor match the results from printing under Leopard with CS3).
DYP - most recent printers DO work correctly with CS4 and Leopard (we spent a lot of time testing them). Older printers that don't have bugs fixed in their drivers (not up to Leopard standards), and a few odd workflows (like Epson's ABW apparently) still have problems.
I personally don't have that list, we've got dozens of them in labs and offices, plus the wide format monsters spilling out into the hallway (darnit, I had to move my bookshelves to make space for the HP Z3100).
The short answer is: anything from HP, Canon, or Epson made within the past 3 years is probably here and well tested. We've also got a selection of lasers from Xerox and HP. But our full list is pretty bloody long. (then add the printers beta testers tried and it gets a lot longer)
Well I can tell you all the latest Canon printers do not work correctly with PSCS4 and Leopard. Color Matching selections in the driver dialog are grayed out and defaults to ColorSync and there is no way to turn it off (CM that is). This of course results in double profiling. With PSCS3 in this exact same environment Color Matching selections in the driver dialog are grayed out and defaults to ColorSync but in the driver No Correction is selected. In that same dialog in the driver when printing from PSCS4 ColorSync is selected. With PSCS4 other selection such as monochrome are grayed out.
This is all with PS Manages Color.
I can also tell you that color lasers from Xerox have the same issue with Color Matching selection in the driver dialog being grayed out.
I will add that this is not that big of an issue with the Canon because of the PS Plugin for printing. It is an issue when printing from LR2.1.
I'm having the 'images print too dark" problem using CS4 on a G5 PowerBook with OX 10.4.11. I'm printing with a custom B&W profile in ABW on an Epson 2400. The images are in ProPhoto working space, 16 bit, RGB, but using the B&W adjustment layer to make then into B&W images. They have not been converted to Grayscale mode.
Printing with exactly the same settings in CS3 and in CS4 using ABW Fine Adj/Dark, the CS4 print is significantly darker.
This is similar, but not the same as King's problem. I tried Eric Chan's idea of Printer Manages Color, but still get a way too dark image.
I followed your steps in CS4 which one change.
1) Edit>Convert to Profile and choose my custom B&W profile, that was creating using a black & white step wedge target and ABW
2) Edit>Assign Profile. I could not choose Generic RGB. My only choices were Generic Gray Profile, Gray Gamma 2.2, Gray Gamma 1.8, etc. No RGB choices. I choose Generic Gray Profile
3) File>Print using Printer Manages Color
4) Used my normal ABW print set-up.
Not only did the print match my monitor, but it actually had a little more contrast and spark than the one I printed with CS3. And, it was no longer the dark disaster I've been fighting with CS4.
Anyone else want to try this and report back?
I'm going to reprint a whole bunch of images and will let you know.
Eric - thank you!
Note to Ramon - yes the 2400 is my default printer
Eric's procedure works! I'm using CS4, G5 PowerMac, OS 10.4.11, and Epson 2400 printer. (The only change was after converting to my custom B&W profile to edit>Assign to profile choosing Generic Gray profile.)
I've tested using my custom B&W Epson SemiGloss profile and my custom Harman Gloss profile. I've printed 5 images - 2 dark ones, 2 light ones, and one with a wide range of tones. They look great. No more dark disaster with CS4 printing.
Eric - could you explain why this worked? I'm really curious.