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Colour management - do I change settings on the monitor or the printer?


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Hi Everybody!

I have been using Adobe 7.0 for quite a long time now and have produced some very nice pictures, but I really don't know what I'm doing! My out-of-work son-in-law has come up with an idea for selling my pictures printed onto canvas by one of the many companies advertising on ebay.

I have tried printing out my pictures on both plain paper and glossy photo paper and comparing them with the picture on the monitor and there are some noticeable differences. I use a Fujitsu Seimens Esprimo laptop and a Canon Pixma i4300 printer. I understand that the laptop image is produced by light and the printer image by colour dots on white paper, but even so, there is so much difference that it concerns me. I want pictures to look just like they do onscreen so that I can be confident that the printed canvases will look the way I have designed them.

I've looked at PC Advisor's "how to calibrate a monitor", but when I go into settings, some of the settings cannot be changed, so I'm at a bit of a loss now.

Is the colour of the image I see on my laptop (which hasn't been altered since I got it) likely to be the same when received by the printing company by jpeg? Or should I alter the image colour on the laptop until it prints out the colour I want?

I'm not sure if I've explained all this very well, but any thoughts would be welcomed.

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First set you monitor using a program like hex2bit or one that has a photocell unit that goes on the screen.

Then download a colour test card from the web and check that it looks OK, then print it on your printer on plain white paper.

Do a comparison and adjust the printer to make it as near as possible to the picture on the screen. You will have to alter the printer settings several times!!!

You wont get it perfect as if you change paper or ink the colour balance will change but with patience you should get a passable match.

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Thank you for your reply, Wizking. I've downloaded Hex2bit successfully but it won't run. I can't afford one of the superduper photocell solutions, so I think I'll just have to settle for the laptop screen as being OK and modify the printer to match as far as possible.

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