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fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers - Macromedia Freehand

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. I am running Freehand 10, on Windows XP. I?m unable to print raster images correctly from fh10, using non-postscript drivers. I know, I know. I should be printing with the postscript drivers...I'll get to that later (below). The images come out pixelated, clearly indicating a post-script problem. Why is this happening? This doesn?t happen in fh8 (I just ran a test). The reason why I want the ability to print using the non-postscript drivers, is because the color seems superior. When comparing a graphic that was printed using non-postscript drivers to ...

  1. #1

    Default fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. I am running Freehand 10, on Windows XP.

    I?m unable to print raster images correctly from fh10, using non-postscript drivers. I know, I know. I should be printing with the postscript drivers...I'll get to that later (below). The images come out pixelated, clearly indicating a post-script problem. Why is this happening? This doesn?t happen in fh8 (I just ran a test).

    The reason why I want the ability to print using the non-postscript drivers, is because the color seems superior. When comparing a graphic that was printed using non-postscript drivers to the same graphic printed using postscript drivers, the difference in color is like night & day. My non-postscript drivers produce richer, brighter colors and the tints stay true, while the postscript drivers produce much darker colors that seem overexposed and tints drop off at 40%. This is true for both of our color printers (HP5500 & HP4600). In some cases, the colors don't even resemble one another, especially for blues & purples. The color differences aren't as noticeable when printing photographs, but for vector objects with solid fills, the differences are shocking.

    As far as colors go, I use spot colors on occasion but since we do most of our printing in house, I like to use the crayons. Also, in many cases, I create swatches from placed images to carry the colors throughout my graphic. I've worked this way since fh8, do I need to change my ways?

    We've tried installing every non-postscript driver that HP offers, and it doesn't help. The problem also occurs with our black & white printers, so it's not an isolated thing. It's a Freehand thing...of course. I?m willing to accept the fact that I can only print with postscript drivers, but I?m not willing to settle with these colors I?m getting. Help?

    What I would like to know:
    1. Any ideas why the non-postscript drivers won?t print my raster images correctly? Is there anything I can do?

    2. Are there settings that I can adjust to improve the colors when printing with postscript drivers? What about when I?m using tints?

    3. Are the color issues I?m having between my postscript drivers/non- postscript drivers normal, or do I need to get an HP rep out here to look at this $6000 hunk-o-junk?


    Thanks guys!
    shelly




    Graphic Designer
    ~ shelly ~ Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    > Why is this happening?

    Are they raster EPS files? If so, that's the problem. Embedded EPS files
    need postscript to print. If there is no postscript, it will just print the
    screen preview.

    Easiest fix is to save either save the entire thing as a PDF and then print
    that (of course, that will change your colors) or save your raster images as
    TIFs.
    > 1. Any ideas why the non-postscript drivers won?t print my raster images
    correctly? Is there anything I can do?

    See above.
    > 2. Are there settings that I can adjust to improve the colors when
    printing with postscript drivers? What about when I?m using tints?

    Yes, calibrate your screen to your printer. What's happening is you are
    using RGB on-screen colors to pick CMYK printed colors. You need to use a
    more reliable toolset like Pantone process color swatch book OR calibrate
    your monitor to your printer. Calibration is difficult, time consuming, and
    full of variables (lighting, monitor age, paper brand, ink brands, etc.) so
    you'd be better off using a Pantone process color swatch book to select your
    colors instead of the system color picker.

    -Darrel


    darrel Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    Thanks Darrel!

    If only it were that simple. The raster images I'm having trouble with are jpgs and tiffs!!!!!! Any ideas?

    You're right, the PDF route is always an option. It just seems like I shouldn't have to do that.

    Your suggestions for correcting my color issues are sound. When I can get to it, I think will attempt to calibrate my screen to the printer. I see that there is a section in the fh10 manual that covers that...

    Thanks again.

    Graphic Designer
    ~ shelly ~ Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    > If only it were that simple. The raster images I'm having trouble with
    are jpgs and tiffs!!!!!! Any ideas?

    Hmm...nope...I'm stumped on that one ;o)

    -Darrel


    darrel Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    ~ shelly ~ wrote:
    >
    > Thanks Darrel!
    >
    > If only it were that simple. The raster images I'm having trouble with are jpgs and tiffs!!!!!! Any ideas?
    >
    I'm still on FH8, but I gather that v10 and higher use the resolution
    settings in the display preferences when printing without PostScript
    or for rendering certain effects. So I'd have a look for a preference
    to increase the display resolution, at least for printing -- if the
    redraw performance is too poor to work with you can turn the
    resolution back down after the prints are done.

    --
    Odysseus
    Odysseus Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    Shelly,

    Are your images CMYK or RGB? I would recommend that you try the former
    with PS and the latter with most non-PS 'Photo" type inkjet printers,
    since most of these printers are optimized for RGB images.
    ______
    Ken
    ellipsis design
    (remove the _xx_'s)
    Ken Kehl Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    Shelly,
    You have come across the same problem I hit. Here is the solution. In FH4,5,7,8,9 there was a tick box in File>preferences>redraw called HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE DISPLAY, turned off gave pixelated screen images, turned on gave normal images. The printing to non postscript printers was unaffected by either setting, as it is intended purely for screen redraw performance.
    However, for FH10 amd MX, in Edit>Preferences>Redraw this is now a slider control with 5 settings, as installed it is at HIGH RESOLUTION which gives a slightly pixelated but almost acceptable print on non-postscript; new users to Freehand may not realise Freehand can do better ! Set it to far right, it says FULL RESOLUTION then print your file and all is well ! If PC struggles with many images up on screen go to Keyline view beforehand.
    The lower the slider, the worse the results.

    Macromedia UK have now sent this issue to the developers so hopefully the functionality we had prior to FH10 will be resolved, as I fear newcomers may not twig that the default setting needs raising to FULL and think FREEHAND is not too good at images. Having scanned a printed image for my first use of FH10, I blamed my scan for the moire effect, not realising it was the high res setting at fault, set about blurring and sharpening it as usually works, but took me a while to realise it wasn't me!

    There are many Freehand users without postscript printers, domestic and professional. I likewise prefer non postscript and have been with Freehand since Freehand 3 days. When using postscript Laserjet it took 20 mins versus 3 to get a print, that put me off from the start. I purchased a postscript rip driver for 100 from Epson for my 1520 domestic and found it no better for colour accuracy. Many domestic users won't do this for their stylus photo printers, certainly at that price. I reckon there are more non postscript users than postscript considering the domestic users which we need to encourage into this lovely program (many years an advocate of FH but getting worried !) My existing file database is designed for non-postscript and I print from it all the time to inkjet capable of A1 size so a change to postscript is not an option if I am to retain colours as designed. Also despite being a Gov't body we haven't the money for it !

    See separate post made today entitled 'What are potholes or bugs in move to FH10-MX from previous ?' for other issues I have encountered in my move to FH10 and MX so far from FH7 which may help you avoid grazed knees !

    Envirographics




    envirographics webforumsuser@macromedia.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    ~ shelly ~ wrote:
    > 1. Any ideas why the non-postscript drivers won?t print my raster
    > images correctly? Is there anything I can do?
    See Odysseus' response.
    > 2. Are there settings that I can adjust to improve the colors when
    > printing with postscript drivers? What about when I?m using tints?
    This might be something to do with the Postscript driver applying some
    kind of CMYK press simulation. When I have used an HP printer with the
    Adobe PressReady software RIP on a Mac, what I *think* it does is
    convert RGB and spot colours to the CMYK profile specified in the 'Adobe
    Print Colour' (I think that's what it's called) control panel, assigns
    the same profile to the CMYK colours, then converts everything to the
    printer's native RGB and sends that to the printer. That procedure would
    likely desaturate RGB and spot colours into the gamut of the specified
    CMYK profile, even if they are in the gamut of the actual printer. Using
    the non-PS drivers, the original RGB values would be sent to the printer
    and converted into the printer's gamut, hence the 'superior' colour.
    There might be some way of configuring the RIP for your printer to
    achieve better colour, but not being familiar with any $6000 HP
    machines, I personally wouldn't know where to start.
    > 3. Are the color issues I?m having between my postscript drivers/non-
    > postscript drivers normal, or do I need to get an HP rep out here to
    > look at this $6000 hunk-o-junk?
    It's probably normal to get different colour between PS/non-PS drivers,
    but the HP people (it's an engineer you need to talk to, reps don't have
    a clue in my experience) might be able to help you configure your
    printer for better results when printing PS (which is the only way to
    reliably print from Freehand).


    --


    Danny

    Danny Whitehead Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    "envirographics" [email]webforumsusermacromedia.com[/email] wrote:
    > There are many Freehand users without postscript printers, domestic
    > and professional.
    Yes. The need for a Postscript printer in Freehand doesn't really affect
    me, as we use only PS devices here. In fact I'd rather they used their
    resources improving the features and stability of PS printing than
    having to fiddle around making it work with all the different non-PS
    devices. But this requirement/recommendation strikes me as a direct
    contradiction of MM's 'web-centric' strategy. I would imagine that the
    majority of MM's user base do not use PS devices and have no need for them.

    --


    Danny

    Danny Whitehead Guest

  10. Moderated Post

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    Removed by Administrator
    ~ shelly ~ Guest
    Moderated Post

  11. #11

    Default Re: fh10 & non-postscript printers vs. postscript printers

    So is FH actually sending postscript data when printing directly to printer?

    I thought one only needed postscript on the printer if one had embedded EPS
    files or other postscript data and that printing directly from an
    application was a direct process (ie, Freehand sends it's data directly to
    the printer without first processing it into postscript).

    As for the resolution setting, why would the resolution be tied to BOTH the
    screen and printing. This seems like a really poorly designed feature to me.

    -Darrel


    darrel Guest

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