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Printing to Brother MFC-L3770CDW from any Adobe Application results in bitmapped prints

New Here ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Hi there, I've been trying to print to my new Brother laser printer for months and can't figure out how to get the prints from any Adobe application to not look like total garbage. I can set up the same design from Microsoft Word and it prints beautifully. I have been in contact with Brother and installed the Postscript driver, but nothing has changed and they say it's an issue with Adobe. 

 

I tried in grayscale with 100% black, I tried in CMYK with 100% black. I've tried Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop. I've turned off Print as Bitmap. Nothing works. 

 

Please help!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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What you are seeing is not "bitmapping", it's a halftone screen.

I'm not familiar specifically with your printer, but most these days that aren't Postscript are assuning RGB data coming in (despite the fact they are print with CMYK toners)

So, if you are working with CMYK files your color management is converting your 100K to a different value based on your Colour Settings, in your case "lighter" than 100K... hence a bit of white dots in your black.

A few things you can try:

In the Preferences for Illustrator and InDesign there is a setting for Appearance of Blacks: under Printing/Export, select Rich Black and see if that changes anything.

Better: If you are print directly from the apps, e.g Illustrator, in the Print dialog under Color Management, switch Color Handling to "Let Postscript Printer determine colours". This turns off the color conversion because it assumes the printer itself is calibrated, plus it allows you also to check "Preserve CMYK numbers".

Even better: make PDF the files and print from Acrobat, which may give you better control and consistency.

fyi: The reason it's not happening with Word, is because it's an RGB-based product, so your printer is seeing 0R0G0B and using solid Black to print.

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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Hi Brad, thanks for the quick reply!

 

Printing from Acrobat (exported) and redesigning in InDesign seemed to work fine.

 

In Illustrator:

 

- Under Color Handling in the Print preferences, it won't let me choose "Let Postscript Printer determine colors".

 

- My Appearance of Black is already set to 'Output All Blacks as Rich Black."

 

- I tried converting my document to RGB in Illustrator but that didn't seem to help either. So what is it about the print options in Acrobat and InDesign that make the print great, and in Ai be so lousy!?

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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"it won't let me choose "Let Postscript Printer determine colors"."

 

It probably only appears as an option if you are using the Postscript driver for your printer.

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New Here ,
Nov 15, 2021 Nov 15, 2021

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I thought I downloaded/installed it but I guess I don't know how to 'use it'.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 15, 2021 Nov 15, 2021

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"So what is it about the print options in Acrobat and InDesign that make the print great, and in Ai be so lousy!?"

Illustrator and inDesign technically should be identical if you have the same Color Settings and matching print dialog items checked, so that is curious (What are your Settings?)

In any case, a couple of things are happening. Your printer is expecting RGB data... You don't have to make your file RGB; if you've designed it in CMYK ultimately for professional printing, you will want to keep it that way, especially your text 100K.

But since your Brother wants RGB data, Illustrator is using your color management settings to convert your CMYK values to RGB. So, whatever ICC profile you have set for CMYK (e.g. US Sheefed Coated) has a measured LAB value for 100K that has been printed on a typical white coated sheet of paper, and in reality it IS lighter than the darkest black possible on that sheet of paper, so it returns a correspondingly lighter RGB value to make it "match". You can see this happen in your document. Create a square of 100K, then click on it, change your Color Picker's units to RGB and, voila! this is the value that's being sent to your printer. (fyi: the darkest CMYK colour you could theoretically make on a coated sheet of paper is if you spec'd 100C 100M 100Y 100K... since that reads darker, it will almost certainly convert to 0R0G0B)

compare.png

What also could be happening is your printer is also doing some color managing on its own, potentially doing the same task twice, may actually cause bigger shifts in colour.

The PDF works better, becasue you aren't going through Illustrator's print colour matching process, and Acrobat just let's the printer do the work with the assumption it's calibrated properly.

One thing to check: Most of these RGB printers have a setting somewhere to "Enhance Black Printing" which may help with this issue.

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