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Author Topic: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?  (Read 6277 times)

Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2019, 08:16:11 am »

Why? Photoshop is an editing programme. Use a print programme for printing. I use Mirage Print but there are lots.
I did not mean that I use Photoshop as my only software for printing. I meant that I mostly only use Photoshop's printing functions.

That being said I just tried Mirage Print and it can load these large files successfully. Furthermore its "Page Preview" does allow to drag the print crop around in order to print a small portion out of the big image. There are several drawbacks, though, that do not make it a viable alternative to Photoshop for this usage-case.

- It only offers "overprint" borderless printing, which always includes its own resampling.

- It only works with my Epson 3880 printer, but not with the HP Color Laserjet.

- Borders do not work with 100% size. Once any border is set the image is resampled to fit the page.

- It costs at least as much as 2.5 years of Adobe subscription (PS + LR), after that time it becomes less expensive, but still coming with the above limitations.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2019, 07:01:27 pm »

I did not mean that I use Photoshop as my only software for printing. I meant that I mostly only use Photoshop's printing functions.

That being said I just tried Mirage Print and it can load these large files successfully. Furthermore its "Page Preview" does allow to drag the print crop around in order to print a small portion out of the big image. There are several drawbacks, though, that do not make it a viable alternative to Photoshop for this usage-case.

- It only offers "overprint" borderless printing, which always includes its own resampling.

- It only works with my Epson 3880 printer, but not with the HP Color Laserjet.

- Borders do not work with 100% size. Once any border is set the image is resampled to fit the page.

- It costs at least as much as 2.5 years of Adobe subscription (PS + LR), after that time it becomes less expensive, but still coming with the above limitations.

Qimage (https://www.binartem.com/qimageone/) is much more flexible, cheaper, and has no artificial brand and/or output size limitations (other than physical ones). One application handles any printer that has a printer driver for any given Operating sytem that's supported by the printer manufacturer.

Cheers,
Bart
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enduser

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2019, 07:33:29 pm »

Qimage is the best print software.  It takes a bit of learning to get the result you want but it is mightily  flexible in what it can do. (Not as obtuse as "Gimp", though.). For example, you can place multiple imaages on one page and apply a different .icc profile to each one! (Not what you are talking about, but an example of its features.)
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2019, 08:34:21 pm »

For example, you can place multiple imaages on one page and apply a different .icc profile to each one!
I'm at a loss why you'd do that. But the ability to use differing Rendering Intents with the same profile on one or more images could be really useful.
I downloaded the demo, it does look very nice. And the price is pretty reasonable. I didn't have it on my radar for years because until recently, Windows only. But it's thankfully cross platform now. Also nice is, you can print color targets for profiling as there is a no color management option for output which is always nice to find. Plan to make some actual prints tomorrow and see how the sharpening compares to say LR. Overall, it looks like a very nice product for the money.
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BobShaw

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2019, 11:56:00 pm »

I did not mean that I use Photoshop as my only software for printing. I meant that I mostly only use Photoshop's printing functions.

That being said I just tried Mirage Print and it can load these large files successfully. Furthermore its "Page Preview" does allow to drag the print crop around in order to print a small portion out of the big image. There are several drawbacks, though, that do not make it a viable alternative to Photoshop for this usage-case.

- It only offers "overprint" borderless printing, which always includes its own resampling.

- It only works with my Epson 3880 printer, but not with the HP Color Laserjet.

- Borders do not work with 100% size. Once any border is set the image is resampled to fit the page.

- It costs at least as much as 2.5 years of Adobe subscription (PS + LR), after that time it becomes less expensive, but still coming with the above limitations.
- I don't do borderless printing. It just wastes ink. Print to the size you want on roll paper. (Yes, you can use roll paper on the 3880, you just have to feed it in the back)
- Yes, Epson and Canon only.
- as above. Print to the size you want.
- I got my new V4 virtually free with the P800, but yes, there is an initial cost usually.
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #45 on: November 07, 2019, 05:00:50 am »

- I don't do borderless printing. It just wastes ink. Print to the size you want on roll paper. (Yes, you can use roll paper on the 3880, you just have to feed it in the back)
It does not waste ink if you print borderless without "overprint". Mirage does not offer that option, but the Epson driver does. The driver reports the paper as slightly larger then, in turn you can place the print on that virtually larger paper to fit the physical paper size. No resampling/enlargement is happening, spill is minimal depending on how straight the paper was pulled in (more skew = more spill).

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- as above. Print to the size you want.
On the Epson I want borderless DIN A4 size for the usage-case I started this thread for. I sometimes print dozens of crops/sheets that together make (part of ) a very large image/map when laid flat on a table next to each other. Printing borderless means that I don't have to precisely cut all four sides of my prints and get more content per sheet. Saves time and paper.
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2019, 05:02:37 am »

Qimage is the best print software.  It takes a bit of learning to get the result you want but it is mightily  flexible in what it can do.
But its print crop dialog is (much) too small for precise placement and the combination of paper-size and border does not work properly in my tests.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2019, 08:47:04 am »

But its print crop dialog is (much) too small for precise placement and the combination of paper-size and border does not work properly in my tests.

Make sure you specify the correct things, e.g. printed area is not the same as paper size (if that's what causes the issue). Dimensions can be specified with a high level of precision, and accuracy. There may also be a difference between nominal paper sizes and actually cut sizes in the box or on the roll.

Qimage One Printer Settings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39EUYSGcNmM

Positioning Prints in Qimage One
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoN7QT4NXNk

P.S. If you are using Qimage Ultimate (Windows only, unless you use Parallels or a similar tool on a Mac), there are some more features and separate video tutorials.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 08:53:19 am by Bart_van_der_Wolf »
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #48 on: November 07, 2019, 03:28:01 pm »

Make sure you specify the correct things, e.g. printed area is not the same as paper size (if that's what causes the issue).
Turned out that this was an issue of Qimage not updating its crop/border limits when virtual paper size changes (borderless vs. non-borderless) or the print driver is changed. It can be forced to update them which then allows me to set the correct crop size.

Here is a screenshot that demonstrates how Qimage does properly read out the (virtual) paper size from the driver, but it may still inflict the lesser printed area boundaries of the smaller physical size when its crop parameters are not forced to update.



The last part shows one problem with Qimage. In order to get 1:1 crops/prints I would have to zoom the crop to exactly 360 dpi, but the zoom lever is not precise enough and thus jumps between 359 and 362 dpi in a single step. There is no way to enter the zoom factor / DPI manually.

There are some more issues, one of which is that Qimage tends to run out of memory with these large images and then more and more errors creep in or options cease to function unless Qimage is reloaded.

I also noticed that various TIFF files cannot be loaded with my test image.

Qimage cannot load the following TIFF files:

ACDSee uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
FastStone ZIP
Gigapixel uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
Photoshop uncompressed


QImage can load the following TIFF files:

FastStone uncompressed, LZW
Gimp uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
IrfanView uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
Photoshop LZW, ZIP
XNViewMP uncompressed, LZW, ZIP

Furthermore it cannot load Photoshop PNG.
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2019, 03:44:37 pm »

Qimage cannot load the following TIFF files:
ACDSee uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
FastStone ZIP
Gigapixel uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
Photoshop uncompressed
Bugs writing TIFFs (we've been over this too many times) or an issue on your side because:
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QImage can load the following TIFF files:
Photoshop LZW, ZIP
Furthermore it cannot load Photoshop PNG.
Both LZW and ZIP TIFFs open just fine on my copy of Qimage (on Mac) too as Adobe knows how to correctly write their own file formats  ;D . Further no issue with PNGs; they open in Qimage here just fine. And of course, PSD open's fine (Photoshop uncompressed; whatever that means).
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #50 on: November 07, 2019, 04:00:48 pm »

I also noticed that various TIFF files cannot be loaded with my test image.

Qimage cannot load the following TIFF files:

...
Photoshop uncompressed
This means uncompressed TIFF files created by Photoshop. The PNG file was created via Photoshop "Large" (=least compression).
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 04:07:11 pm by Timur_Born »
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #51 on: November 07, 2019, 04:32:53 pm »

This means uncompressed TIFF files created by Photoshop. The PNG file was created via Photoshop "Large" (=least compression).
No issue with either on this end, using a Mac. Probably your "Windoz" machine?
TIFF is TIFF; not uncompressed Photoshop BTW. All 3 variety of PS saved TIFFs open fine on Qimage here.
As to the other problems, again, bugs. Ask those companies why they can't produce TIFFs correctly like the other products you used that Qimage can open; it's THEIR FAULT, not Qimage.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 04:56:59 pm by digitaldog »
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #52 on: November 07, 2019, 06:30:26 pm »

No issue with either on this end, using a Mac. Probably your "Windoz" machine?
Possible, I could check on a Macbook Pro once I find time and leisure. It's more likely an issue with these large files, because smaller images can be read by Qimage, even ACDSee uncompressed and ZIP (not LZW). Qimage on Windows is hampered by being 32 bit and only using 2 gb of RAM, despite being allowed up to 3 gb.

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TIFF is TIFF; not uncompressed Photoshop
I already explained that "Photoshop uncompressed" meant "uncompressed TIFF created by Photoshop". Semantics. If you absolutely need to repeatedly post snarky remarks post then please at least read what you are answering to.

Quote
BTW. All 3 variety of PS saved TIFFs open fine on Qimage here.
Deflate/ZIP and LZW opened fine here, too, as explained before. Again, it's most likely a memory limitation issue.



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it's THEIR FAULT, not Qimage.
Mindcuffs...
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #53 on: November 07, 2019, 06:33:28 pm »

Mindcuffs...
No, facts. But at least some of us here know where to place the blame for your 'problem TIFF workflow' and it's not Qimage.  ;) 
I already explained that "Photoshop uncompressed" TIFFs created by Photoshop open fine and dandy in Qimage here.
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Semantics. If you absolutely need to repeatedly post snarky remarks post then please at least read what you are answering to.

As the Chinese proverb says: "The first step towards genius is calling things by their proper name."

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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #54 on: November 07, 2019, 07:23:05 pm »

Possible, I could check on a Macbook Pro once I find time and leisure. It's more likely an issue with these large files, because smaller images can be read by Qimage, even ACDSee uncompressed and ZIP (not LZW). Qimage on Windows is hampered by being 32 bit and only using 2 gb of RAM, despite being allowed up to 3 gb.

I remember that with Qimage Ultimate there was (is?) an issue when Windows cannot make available enough unfragmented (continuous RAM) memory. This had to do with MultiThreading which can be set with Qimage Ultimate. Reducing the number of Threads could help. With the 'Ultimate' version, don't know if it carried over to the 'One' version, it is possible to show the amount of memory when holding the SHIFT button while clicking the Help menu's "Analyze Current Settings" choice.
http://ddisoftware.com/tech/qimage-ultimate/maximum-print-length/msg19561/?PHPSESSID=51l33g6eoqsllsm683d8efc623#msg19561

This does also have something to do with letting Qimage print images that have already been resized, or that come as large stitched panoramas. When Qimage does the upsizing itself, it does so on-the-fly in chunks in order to avoid memory issues with the printer driver. That then avoids most memory limit issues as well.

Qimage's original developer, Mike Chaney once explained in 2017:
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Qimage is the only software that feeds data to the driver in managed chunks rather than just dumping the full original to the driver at once.  Dumping a full size image to the driver at higher settings like 1200/1440 PPI causes problems on wide format printers because anything larger than about 24x36 and you reach the 4GB limit of 32 bits and the driver crashes.
http://ddisoftware.com/tech/qimage-ultimate/v2017-115-issuescomments/msg20404/#msg20404

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 07:39:08 pm by Bart_van_der_Wolf »
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #55 on: November 07, 2019, 07:39:41 pm »

I already explained that "Photoshop uncompressed" TIFFs created by Photoshop open fine and dandy in Qimage here.
And what does that tell us? Would you please leave this thread to people who are genuinely interested in discussing and helping with the original question. Thank you.
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #56 on: November 07, 2019, 08:09:46 pm »

And what does that tell us?
That you've got problems and this doesn't affect everyone and it's silly to blame Qimage:
Quote
Qimage cannot load the following TIFF files:

ACDSee uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
FastStone ZIP
Gigapixel uncompressed, LZW, ZIP
Photoshop uncompressed
Qimage can load the following TIFF files:
TIFFs without compression and with compression properly written in the first place (like from Photoshop).
Understand?  ;)
Quote
Would you please leave this thread to people who are genuinely interested in discussing and helping with the original question.
You got lots of help, most dismissed; stick with Photoshop, it's the only product you appear to be able to successfully use.....  :P
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Mac Mahon

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #57 on: November 07, 2019, 08:59:24 pm »

... But the ability to use differing Rendering Intents with the same profile on one or more images could be really useful.
I downloaded the demo, it does look very nice. And the price is pretty reasonable. I didn't have it on my radar for years because until recently, Windows only. But it's thankfully cross platform now. Also nice is, you can print color targets for profiling as there is a no color management option for output which is always nice to find. Plan to make some actual prints tomorrow and see how the sharpening compares to say LR. Overall, it looks like a very nice product for the money.
Hi Andrew
I'd be interested to know what you found.  I've always used Roy Harrington's Print Tool to print patches w/o color management.  But Print Tool has no output sharpening utility as far as I can find, so I've stuck with Lightroom for image printing.  However, after reading this thread, I ran a print (of the same image) through QImage, Print Tool and Lightroom and concluded that both the BP compensation and the output sharpening (at default setting) in QImage are overly aggressive.  Hardly a scientific study, but didn't see anything there that would convince me to replace LR with QImage.  A lot of experienced photographers like it so I suppose more experimentation is warranted.

(edited to clarify sharpening setting)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 10:16:40 pm by Mac Mahon »
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Timur_Born

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #58 on: November 07, 2019, 09:35:14 pm »

That you've got problems and this doesn't affect everyone and it's silly to blame Qimage
We are not talking about everyone's random images of arbitrary size, we are talking about my specific very large images. Qimage is not able to load them as uncompressed TIFF when created by Photoshop. There is no blame, just stating what is happening here and calling it a definitive drawback for a fluent workflow. I don't even know why we would have to discuss this in any detail, it's just one point about loading the images, it's not even processing said images to get the results that are needed. You seem quite hellbend on proving other people being less smart and qualified than you. Good for you then. Please leave this thread, you are condescending, bordering on insulting and generally of no help at all.

For everyone else who are interested in a civil discussion:

Here is a comparison that demonstrates why I prefer to use Topaz Gigapixel for upsizing the bad quality source images that then end up being pretty large files. I appended four crops out of a large map image, upsizing the original by 400% to get to the final print size, so that each of the drawn squares is 1 inch on paper. Additionally I increased its original DPI from 150 to 300 for a total of 800% upsizing. For the QImage crop I used "Print to File" with the default interpolate setting of "Fusion" and sharpen 5.

PS: For best comparison either download the images or make sure that your browser does not resize its UI/output to match your OS' display DPI settings even when viewed at 100% zoom. But even without these steps you likely get the idea, because the differences are rather obvious.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 09:49:51 pm by Timur_Born »
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digitaldog

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Re: Alternative for Photoshop's Print dialog?
« Reply #59 on: November 07, 2019, 09:45:29 pm »

We are not talking about everyone's random images of arbitrary size, we are talking about my specific very large images. Qimage is not able to load them as uncompressed TIFF when created by Photoshop.
Stick with Photoshop, trash Qimage (even though it works for many); problem solved.
Quote
There is no blame, just stating what is happening here and calling it a definitive drawback for a fluent workflow.
Stick with Photoshop; problem solved; fluent workflow tool indeed; that's why so many here actually use it. Daily. No issues for me, others.... with Photoshop and many of the tools suggested you can't get too work on your end.
Quote
I don't even know why we would have to discuss this in any detail, it's just one point about loading the images, it's not even processing said images to get the results that are needed.
We're discussing it because you are unable to get another recommended product to work on your end; stick with Photoshop, seems to work.
Quote
You seem quite hellbend on proving other people being less smart and qualified than you. Good for you then. Please leave this thread, you are condescending, bordering on insulting and generally of no help at all.
You seem hellbent on ignoring recommendations as not worthy of your needs when you already have a product that appears to work for you; I suggest you use it.
And no, I'm not leaving. I have more testing of Qimage to conduct and report back as was requested this hour. If you feel the suggestions provided don't work for you, stick with Photoshop, if you feel insulted, you can leave this thread.  :o
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