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Author Topic: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?  (Read 5359 times)

Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2019, 04:52:07 pm »

https://helpx.adobe.com/support/photoshop.html
This is a link to tutorial and guides. This does not help with bugs.

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https://community.adobe.com/t5/Photoshop/bd-p/photoshop
This is the community (mostly user to user) forum that is overrun with new posts, so that posts get burried within minutes. I never got any useful answer from there, even less so any reply from Adobe.

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https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family
Again community forum.

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https://www.adobe.com/products/request-consultation/creative-cloud.html
This is for sales talk where Adobe tells you what products fit your demands.

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You're not trying but fine; I'm done attempting to help you.  ;)
And you are condescending and not even reading my posts properly, but fine.
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2019, 05:26:19 pm »

User to user forums are not proper support. Proper support is when you get backtracking for a reported problem, preferably with a ticket number and either e-mail or support form contacts.
You incorrectly said "no community support" now you state it's not proper (rubbish), you incorrectly state there is no ticketing support systems (there are). It seems you are unable to accept useful answers from anyone but you are pretty darn good at complaining. Enough said; solve your problems alone and yourself. 🤮
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2019, 03:38:56 am »

I wrote "no proper support = no ticket system" comma "community support". I did not mean "no community support", that may not have been clear. But we are discussing semantics again. And while I appreciate community support it's the equivalent of shouting your support case into a city full of people. Someone might answer, but most of the time people just walk by and look at you funny.

We pay Adobe monthly to get proper support and I do not see how to get real support interaction when a bug keeps disrupting my workflow. If you know how to get to real ticket or e-mail support (as in the status of my support call can be traced and referred to), I will happily use that path.

Especially now that my Adobe subscription has been renewed and I did not find a suitable alternative. So it seems that I will keep (ab)using Photoshop for my large print jobs.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 03:42:45 am by Timur_Born »
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dgberg

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2019, 06:21:49 am »

And no one has mentioned Lightroom?
It certainly cannot do everything but IMO beats Photoshop hands down and I have them all. (Well most)
Qimage,Photoshop CC, Capture One 12,On1 Photo Raw and Lightroom Classic.
I am intrigued by Qimage but everytime I try and give it a go I fall back on what I know best, Lightroom.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 06:43:42 am by dgberg »
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2019, 08:16:36 am »

Hello everyone!

Currently I am using Photoshop exclusively for printing, because I have not found any other software that offers the functions of its print dialog. Specifically I am looking for software that can print manually selected parts out of a larger image, but not just automatically tiling for posters.

For example, the original image is 162 x 213 cm (64 x 84 inches), from which I need to print manually selected parts on DIN A4 paper which is  21 x 29.7 cm (8,268 x 11,693 inches). I could crop these parts out of the image with other software, but since I need to print several different parts that are meant to align with each other that would mean several extra steps and more difficulties them. Most programs also don't allows to set proper margins manually, don't offer to save these as convenient presets or cannot handle images of such large sizes well (if at all).

Many also fail to read virtual printer paper sizes from the print driver, which brings me to the next point:

When my Epson 3880 printer is set to borderless printing *without* upsizing the image then it virtually increases the paper size (think canvas size in PS). DIN A4 paper then increases to a virtual size of 30.69 x 21.98 cm. PS' then allows to use "Print Selected Area" to set print borders that fit DIN A4's original size and thus print borderless without using bad printer driver upsizing and without spilling much (if any) ink over the paper borders. Additionally some prints don't need content on the whole paper, so it's a quick way of keeping more space blank.

I looked into *lots* of other software, but so far found nothing that offers any of the functions of Photoshop. So I am open to suggestions.

As I am intrigued with the conditions you set in your request, I try to analyze what your goal is. The resampling method you selected is a good one, it has been discussed here often enough. Pity that the software has not printer interface to do that on the fly with a print job.

An Epson 3880 printer that can print up to A2+ size is used for A4s printed borderless. Not for tiles to make a stitched poster but for a kind of mosaic of A4 sheets. Not for proof prints as you could do that as well with borders on the A4s. You like to keep the whole, huge image as the source to print from, not manual crops selected from that image saved for that phase of sample printing.

You can not use two image halves, less than 1 GB each, so Qimage Ultimate could cope with the image size and proof parts to A4+ or as an alternative several proof parts on a larger sheet?  I would also cut the file in 3 parts and use the 5 parts next to one another in QU thumbs viewing. Selecting the parts to print on an A2+ print page so you have already a preview of the alignment. Then four A4s can be printed as stitched already or slightly separated if cutting to A4s is needed. Book, artistic necessity, those A4s?  QU has some proofing methods that allows selected parts to be printed while it keeps the image files intact. I never use borderless as I find it far more reliable to use a larger paper and cut back to the sizes I need, ending with a borderless print or with exact border dimensions that are not set by the sheet size or the image position on the sheet. Much of your issues with other printer interfaces are due to your choice for a kind of borderless printing on A4 that only the PS printer interface copes with.

So the file that huge will in the end never be printed in total on for example a 65" wide format? 

Did you try to get help in the QU forum or propose a new feature for QU ?  The QU forum and Mike Chaney form that community you seek I think.


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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2019, 11:41:40 am »

And no one has mentioned Lightroom?
Unfortunately going via Lightroom seems rather complicated and it would just leave me with the very same subscription anyway. In LR I would first have to import the large image and then go back and forth between crop mode and print mode. Several more steps than in Photoshop I fear. But thanks for the suggestion, it's well appreciated.
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2019, 12:06:27 pm »

Unfortunately going via Lightroom seems rather complicated and it would just leave me with the very same subscription anyway.
Yes but...
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In LR I would first have to import the large image and then go back and forth between crop mode and print mode. Several more steps than in Photoshop I fear.

Actually no, if you understand how to use the various options within just the Print Module. Just so some can continue posting the facts of how these products actually work. And far more options than anything PS offers for printing.
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2019, 03:31:55 pm »

Would you please stop posting the same (non-)answer of "You just have to do it right" over and over again? Thank you.
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2019, 03:34:44 pm »

Would you please stop posting the same (non-)answer of "You just have to do it right" over and over again? Thank you.
IF you want these products suggested to work as they can, you kind of have to understand how to use them correctly. You’ve illustrated with two suggested products, you don’t. 😈
I think some people enjoy complaining almost as much as they enjoy doing nothing about it.
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2019, 04:04:55 pm »

As I am intrigued with the conditions you set in your request, I try to analyze what your goal is.
Thanks for chiming in, it's well appreciated!

I am printing plans for private table-top gaming where only part of the plan is revealed during a game. So printing the whole large plan would reveal all at once (and need a larger printer) and printing poster-tiles would cut the content at the wrong parts. Think of splitting a large architectural CAD drawing into smaller DIN A4 part where the rooms on the drawing dictate where to crop each smaller print. Also think about 300 g/m² photo-quality paper costing next to nothing compared to bigger paper. I do sometimes use A3 and A2, but rather occasionally.

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The resampling method you selected is a good one, it has been discussed here often enough. Pity that the software has not printer interface to do that on the fly with a print job.
Well, the printer does resample to its native DPI on the fly, but likely only using something easily calculated such as bilinear.

The original images I am printing out include grid-lines that are supposed to be 1 inch apart, but the source images are smaller than the output size and even compressed (usually being part of a PDF). I used Photoshop's resampling in the past, but Gigapixel AI (up to version 4.2.2) is perfect for these artificial plans and invents lots of useful details (plus perfectly rounding aliased lines). Just another function of Photoshop that I do *not* use anymore thanks to Gigapixel. I resize to the destination size and DPI (360 for the Epson, 300 for my HP color laserprinter) and then print at that native DPI to keep the print driver out of the resampling pipeline.

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You can not use two image halves, less than 1 GB each, so Qimage Ultimate could cope with the image size and proof parts to A4+ or as an alternative several proof parts on a larger sheet?
That would kind of be possible, but quite a hassle. Not only because it involved extra steps, but also because the halves would likely cut right through image content that I need on a single sheet of paper. Just loading one huge image into the software and then starting the print dialog to manually select the crop really is a big time-saver (albeit somewhat buggy in PS).

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QU has some proofing methods that allows selected parts to be printed while it keeps the image files intact.
No proofing necessary, just printing silly gaming material to lay out on a table and put miniature gaming figures on. This is why I wrote about "abusing" Photoshop. I really pay for this much bigger software just to print this stuff. Additionally I do have much use for Lightroom, but find that alternatives are getting more and more viable, like using Mylio for its much better face detection.

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I never use borderless as I find it far more reliable to use a larger paper and cut back to the sizes I need, ending with a borderless print or with exact border dimensions that are not set by the sheet size or the image position on the sheet.
It saves having to cut all sides on sometimes dozens of prints and allows to squeeze more content on a single page, which makes things easier again. For smaller plans I often just use my HP color printer and then cut around the margins (cannot do borderless).

That being said, when I print out photos of/for our family I also like to print borderless. And the combination of the software detecting the virtually larger page size from the printer and being able to set exact print margins (down to 0.x mm) helps to keep the spill-over small. Especially since I do not want the printer driver to enlarge the image, since that would be using (fast/sub-par) resampling again.

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Much of your issues with other printer interfaces are due to your choice for a kind of borderless printing on A4 that only the PS printer interface copes with.
I would not say so, because the problems are the same when I print with borders on the HP. Borderless is just another complication on top of the others.

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So the file that huge will in the end never be printed in total on for example a 65" wide format? 
Exactly, but I do need to have manual control over how the images are cropped and aligned. The latter is important, because on the table the prints are put together to form a large image/map again.

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Did you try to get help in the QU forum or propose a new feature for QU ?  The QU forum and Mike Chaney form that community you seek I think.
I think that I asked about a 64-bit version a few years back, but I only found an outgoing e-mail reporting a bug (with no answer coming back).

My yearly Adobe subscription just got renewed on 2th, so next year I can look around again.
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2019, 04:33:16 pm »

Quote
then print at that native DPI to keep the print driver out of the resampling pipeline.
Well, the printer does resample to its native DPI on the fly, but likely only using something easily calculated such as bilinear.
https://www.digitalphotopro.com/technique/photography-workflow/the-right-resolution/ :

....Now there’s some question of where and how this data gets resampled.
Answer above starting on page 2. For your 3880 and Epson/Canon printers.
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2019, 07:49:37 pm »

I am sure that using a reasonably lower DPI would work for my purposes (like half native DPI), especially with the laser printer. But the upsampling done by Gigapixel is a night & day difference compared to other means. Going for the printer's native DPI then is just the icing on the cake and makes sure nothing else messes things up (even more so when printing borderless).

Using a lower image DPI would decrease file size and thus mitigate 32-bit memory restrictions, of course. But that would not solve the original problem of looking for an alternative that should not be much less convenient and precise to use. With PS it's as easy as: Load large image (as in inches/cm), open print dialog, print smaller crop out of the larger image that precisely aligns with image content and neighboring prints.

Qimage offers a crop mode, like many other programs. But it does not allow me to conveniently and precisely crop the image content, especially not for "mass" printout. I have yet to find a software other than Photoshop that does. Until then I will have to stay in the subscription plan, mostly use only a single function of this powerful software and hope that the print dialog bugs get sorted some day (workaround is to flip portrait/landscape back and forth).
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Stephen Ray

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2019, 10:33:08 pm »

I am sure that using a reasonably lower DPI would work for my purposes (like half native DPI), especially with the laser printer. But the upsampling done by Gigapixel is a night & day difference compared to other means. Going for the printer's native DPI then is just the icing on the cake and makes sure nothing else messes things up (even more so when printing borderless).

Using a lower image DPI would decrease file size and thus mitigate 32-bit memory restrictions, of course. But that would not solve the original problem of looking for an alternative that should not be much less convenient and precise to use. With PS it's as easy as: Load large image (as in inches/cm), open print dialog, print smaller crop out of the larger image that precisely aligns with image content and neighboring prints.

Qimage offers a crop mode, like many other programs. But it does not allow me to conveniently and precisely crop the image content, especially not for "mass" printout. I have yet to find a software other than Photoshop that does. Until then I will have to stay in the subscription plan, mostly use only a single function of this powerful software and hope that the print dialog bugs get sorted some day (workaround is to flip portrait/landscape back and forth).

Look into Onyx or Caldera RIP software which will drive the printer fully. With some experience, you might learn how "print dots" are ultimately formed from "image pixels" and how various transformations may affect your seemingly judicious up-rez efforts making them superfluous, especially at the somewhat long print length you're after. You will notice a particular setting for both width and length size compensation which is practically always necessary in order to produce the print at the expected final large format size. (Usually unnoticed at small print sizes.) This size compensation control in critical not only for size but also print quality. Properly set, the RIP will know how to compensate and size the small cropped image area from the large image area.

Good luck.
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2019, 04:23:01 am »

Could you elaborate what you mean by "size compensation"? Keep in mind that this is not a large print that is being looked at from a large distance, it is many small prints that are looked at from a close distance (0.3 - 1 m / 1 - 3 ft).

RIP software is more expensive than just keeping Photoshop for many years to come and even more overkill for what I am doing with it.
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2019, 04:44:54 am »

Thanks for chiming in, it's well appreciated!

I am printing plans for private table-top gaming where only part of the plan is revealed during a game. So printing the whole large plan would reveal all at once (and need a larger printer) and printing poster-tiles would cut the content at the wrong parts. Think of splitting a large architectural CAD drawing into smaller DIN A4 part where the rooms on the drawing dictate where to crop each smaller print. Also think about 300 g/m² photo-quality paper costing next to nothing compared to bigger paper. I do sometimes use A3 and A2, but rather occasionally.
Well, the printer does resample to its native DPI on the fly, but likely only using something easily calculated such as bilinear.

The original images I am printing out include grid-lines that are supposed to be 1 inch apart, but the source images are smaller than the output size and even compressed (usually being part of a PDF). I used Photoshop's resampling in the past, but Gigapixel AI (up to version 4.2.2) is perfect for these artificial plans and invents lots of useful details (plus perfectly rounding aliased lines). Just another function of Photoshop that I do *not* use anymore thanks to Gigapixel. I resize to the destination size and DPI (360 for the Epson, 300 for my HP color laserprinter) and then print at that native DPI to keep the print driver out of the resampling pipeline.
That would kind of be possible, but quite a hassle. Not only because it involved extra steps, but also because the halves would likely cut right through image content that I need on a single sheet of paper. Just loading one huge image into the software and then starting the print dialog to manually select the crop really is a big time-saver (albeit somewhat buggy in PS).
No proofing necessary, just printing silly gaming material to lay out on a table and put miniature gaming figures on. This is why I wrote about "abusing" Photoshop. I really pay for this much bigger software just to print this stuff. Additionally I do have much use for Lightroom, but find that alternatives are getting more and more viable, like using Mylio for its much better face detection.
It saves having to cut all sides on sometimes dozens of prints and allows to squeeze more content on a single page, which makes things easier again. For smaller plans I often just use my HP color printer and then cut around the margins (cannot do borderless).

That being said, when I print out photos of/for our family I also like to print borderless. And the combination of the software detecting the virtually larger page size from the printer and being able to set exact print margins (down to 0.x mm) helps to keep the spill-over small. Especially since I do not want the printer driver to enlarge the image, since that would be using (fast/sub-par) resampling again.
I would not say so, because the problems are the same when I print with borders on the HP. Borderless is just another complication on top of the others.
Exactly, but I do need to have manual control over how the images are cropped and aligned. The latter is important, because on the table the prints are put together to form a large image/map again.
I think that I asked about a 64-bit version a few years back, but I only found an outgoing e-mail reporting a bug (with no answer coming back).

My yearly Adobe subscription just got renewed on 2th, so next year I can look around again.

For your game I would prepare two or more copies of the image file, upsample with Topaz, cut out the parts that should not be visible (per copy to overcome overlaps of uncharted territory), save as JPEG 100% quality (white areas help a lot to compress to a maintainable file then). Print 1:1 in normal mode and at whatever paper size that is sensible for cutting and for use in the game. Your estimation of paper sizes/prices is not one that correlates with my experience.

Qimage Ultimate resamples on the fly in the print data creation phase, no driver resampling involved. Pity that Topaz has no similar function. That is what I meant.  For your HP laser printer the Topaz Gigapixel resampling seems overkill or you have a special liking for extreme content invention by Topaz Gigapixel.

The chances you cut through areas you need by halving the image file are there, that is why I suggested to use halves + one thirds.


If a customer asks me for a job like that I will find a solution within the tools I have. He will explain the ins and outs. I will be paid and have a satisfied customer, enough self confidence aboard for that statement.   In general, reading between the lines, I see you like to avoid costs in labor, media, software, learning, and that for your very special hobby print job. You have a solution that you think is one of a kind and like to see whether the printing communities in the rest of the world are able to add another one that is equivalent or better. Slowly revealing aspects of the job in the discussion but not all. Consider your request as another game you created with the manual also written by you, not to mention you being the referee.  I think you are wasting our time on this .... maybe it brings some pleasure to you. There are names for that behavior on the web. Do not come back next year I would say. Andrew was not wrong this time.


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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2019, 07:20:58 am »

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Qimage Ultimate resamples on the fly in the print data creation phase, no driver resampling involved. Pity that Topaz has no similar function. That is what I meant.
Yes, I noticed that in my latest trial of Qimage. And since the upsampling is done after the cropping this circumvents possible (32 bit) memory issues.

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Pity that Topaz has no similar function.
Even "worse", when you use other than 100% zoom (preview) in Gigapixel it does not just resample the image to 200% or 400%, but it does a full invented content creation at that new zoom level. This means that the preview (200%/400%) differs from the real output (100%). The same applies for different DPI settings in Gigapixel, higher resolution means different calculation and content creation, not just upsampling.

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For your HP laser printer the Topaz Gigapixel resampling seems overkill or you have a special liking for extreme content invention by Topaz Gigapixel.
Indeed, for the HP it's overkill, about 150 DPI (half the native resolution) would be sufficient. I am mostly using the Epson for printing, though, but will try half the resolution there, too. I do have a liking for the content invention by Gigapixel in this case, because the original content is artificial anyway and its native resolution is very low (plus possible compression artifacts).

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The chances you cut through areas you need by halving the image file are there, that is why I suggested to use halves + one thirds.
I need all areas, but not at once. Thus I need to control what parts get printed on a single sheet of paper. But in the end the whole image is printed, just not via simple poster tiling.

Well, it all sounds more complex than it really is. Photoshop allows to print crops out of large images without extra steps, you just drag and drop the image on top of the paper, no extra cropping, no memory limitations, full support for virtual driver paper sizes.

Now I wondered if other software can do that at a better cost-benefit ratio, being astounded that there does not seem to be. Using Photoshop just for printing gaming maps is throwing pearls (PS) before the swines (me), plus it's a bit buggy. The programs I checked (over half a dozen) do not offer such extended printing functions, but obviously I cannot know every software on the market. Well, it seems that I will have to keep using the pearls (PS) for the time being.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 07:44:32 am by Timur_Born »
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free1000

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2019, 12:03:54 pm »

Lightroom is by far my favourite printing option.  A big plus is its handling of templating and collections. 

I'd also like to find a non-Adobe version, there are plenty of other options now from vendors who don't routinely 'lose' your personal data by publishing it on the web.

However I can't find anything comparable.  Epson Print looks interesting, but with one of my printers thats a bit older, (R1800) it doesn't provide much driver support, I can't turn off the gloss optimiser for example. It would probably work better with my P800 when I get a chance to try.

So far other than Lightroom I'm using Affinity Publisher for various outputs where I need a custom layout, but I wouldn't find it useful for art printing.  I think Affinity Photo would be fine (it worked well before my Catalina update so I can still use it on my Mojave print machine) but its annoying that Printing is currently buggy on Catalina, that will pass of course.

My feeling is that a combination of these products would handle my use cases.  I have no problem with paying £10 a month for Lightroom and PS except that I hardly ever need PS now and I begrudge the hegemony of Adobe and the cost of using other products from their suite.  I have to focus on short subscriptions for using After Effects, and it can be problematic ending a subscription at times (Adobe have cunning ways of stopping you via an e-commerce portal that sometimes just says 'No')

For straight image printing Affinity Photo
For layouts with a new Epson printer, possibly Epson Print Layout
For publications, brochures, cards etc. Affinity Publisher
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BobShaw

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2019, 05:54:14 pm »

Currently I am using Photoshop exclusively for printing
Why? Photoshop is an editing programme. Use a print programme for printing. I use Mirage Print but there are lots.
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free1000

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2019, 06:47:16 am »

Why? Photoshop is an editing programme. Use a print programme for printing. I use Mirage Print but there are lots.

 
What would you say is the feature or set of features that makes that level of expense worthwhile.

Are there any of the other print software you would recommend that has say 80% of the capability at a lower cost? 
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2019, 07:34:46 am »

Lightroom is by far my favourite printing option.  A big plus is its handling of templating and collections. 
Unfortunately there are some limitations that make Lightroom unusable for my usage case.

- Crop mode can only set a crop ratio, but not a precise crop size. Because of this I cannot crop DIN A4 sized chunks out of the source image to print at 1:1. The crop is then resampled to the cell size, so even manually trying to find the correct size does not guarantee that you end up with a 1:1 print.

- It cannot read images with uncompressed size close to 2 gb, 1.94 gb fails already. This is not necessarily a problem for my images, because usually they stay below that threshold (my test image is 1.35 gb uncompressed).

- If I use Lightroom then I could keep using Photoshop, which is more convenient to use for this kind of usage-case. It's the same subscription and support. No problem doing so, but also no harm in looking for possible alternatives with better cost-benefit ratio.

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For straight image printing Affinity Photo
For layouts with a new Epson printer, possibly Epson Print Layout
These did not work for my usage-case.

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For publications, brochures, cards etc. Affinity Publisher
Someone suggested its predecessor "Serif Drawplus" to me, which might be able to do what I need. I will check both.
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