11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 10, 2014 7:54 AM by Test Screen Name

    CMYK Printing Unavailable

    eschafer811

      Good morning,

       

      I have a new CMYK printer (Epson WF-4640) in the office. I am trying to print color design docs from InDesign. However, InDesign will not give me the option to print in composite CMYK. When I go to change Output, only composite RGB and gray are available; the other options are grayed out. Similarly, the only option under color management is "let InDesign determine colors," and every single option is RGB. As a result, I am getting a very low quality proof print (grainy and dark) instead of full color.

       

      I contacted the printer company and they indicated that because it was a CMYK printer and all drivers were loaded correctly on my computer, that it is an InDesign issue. (It is worth noting that there is one other CMYK printer at the office and it is also not given the "right" to print in CMYK under output/color management).

       

      My colleague and I have tried every manner of "tricking" InDesign into allowing CMYK printing. We've even tried customizing proof setups so that it matched the "real" color. The document is in CMYK, all swatches are CMYK, and the image is CMYK. We are totally at a loss. We're discouraged, as it is a waste of technology to have InDesign and the printer unable to communicate effectively with one another.

       

      Any help with this would be great!

       

      Thank you,

      Emily

        • 1. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Install the postscript driver.

           

          Ask them to send the correct postscript driver for your OS.

          • 2. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            Doesn't actually look like there is a postscript driver...

            • 3. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
              Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              What happens there then?

               

              The printer does a RGB conversion to CMYK on output?

              • 4. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                eschafer811 Level 1

                I guess so; the result looks exactly like the "proof colors" version: grainy and significantly darker (eg: a true red is printing as a maroon/black).

                 

                I have been on phone/hold with Epson for ages and they're trying to help but no one seems to have any answers.

                 

                Every option in color management is RGB. It makes no sense!

                • 5. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  As a result, I am getting a very low quality proof print (grainy and dark) instead of full color.

                   

                  You get to the print driver's software settings via Print>Printer... Are you setting the Printer Features dialog(s) correctly? That's where you control resolution and color.

                   

                  ScreenSnapz001.png

                  • 6. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Printers not driven by a Postscript driver are considered RGB devices by ID. These devices expect RGB data and use internal conversion to CMYK for output. If you send such a printer CMYK data it will first convert that to RGB, then reconvert to CMYK for output, and you can expect color shifting.

                     

                    This printer is a mid-range office-duty all-in-one unit, not a graphics printer.

                    • 7. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                      eschafer811 Level 1

                      It's definitely mid-range; I don't expect it to produce top quality prints. However, it IS a CMYK device and it was chosen for that reason. It makes no sense to me that I cannot print in the very mode it is designed to use. I don't even mind grainy outputs, I guess. But red should print as red - not a deep, dark maroon. At any range of printer quality.

                       

                      Is there any way to "adjust" the RGB data expectation? I am really hoping to avoid returning this device. And going to Staples.

                      • 8. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Every option in color management is RGB. It makes no sense!

                         

                        To get a Composite CMYK option you'll need a PostScript driver. Composite inkjet printers have a very different profile than a typical offset press. The color gamut of the inksets are usually much wider than typical press inks and if you send CMYK values unchanged to the wider gamut printer the result wouldn't look anything like what you would get on press with the same values. For that reason most composite drivers convert everything to RGB first and color manage the final conversion via paper/resolution profiles that should be included with the printer software.

                         

                        Epson 7600 native driver:

                        ScreenSnapz002.png

                         

                        Third party RIP:

                         

                        ScreenSnapz003.png

                        • 9. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          eschafer811 wrote:

                           

                          It's definitely mid-range; I don't expect it to produce top quality prints. However, it IS a CMYK device and it was chosen for that reason.

                          Just because a Printer uses CMYK inks doesn't make it a CMYK device. I don't see any sign that Epson provides even a Postscript emulation driver for this unit.

                          • 10. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Is there any way to "adjust" the RGB data expectation?

                            Where are you setting output resolution and the paper profile? Are you adjusting the printer settings in the Printer... dialog (not Print)?

                            • 11. Re: CMYK Printing Unavailable
                              Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

                              It might be worth some background.

                               

                              1. The Windows imaging model (that is, the thing that programs use to talk to the screen AND to the printer) is entirely based on RGB. There is no CMYK support at all.

                               

                              2. Most printers use CMYK inks; at the very least none use RGB inks!

                               

                              3. This means that all Windows printer drivers are written to take RGB data, convert to CMYK themselves, and print. They are often excellent at this, especially if the RGB data has a correctly chosen profile (and colours were correct with a calibrated monitor, or all bets are off whatever).

                               

                              4. PostScript printers also work in CMYK, but the drivers expect RGB only. But there is a magic trick where apps can make their own PostScript instructions, and pass them through the driver saying "don't touch that!" This is the only way Windows apps can print CMYK, and hence they can print CMYK only to PostScript printers. (Also, it only applies to the very few apps specially written to do that; mostly DTP).

                               

                              Bottom line is, if you want CMYK printing, you would need a PostScript printer. But why would you want CMYK printing? Getting the inks right for an inkjet doesn't really benefit you in any way, it only makes colour matching to other devices harder. CMYK is not better, except in specific cases, just harder.