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Best settings for exporting to PDF for printing to inket

Community Beginner ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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I want to print an InDesign project to my Epson inkjet printer with the best possible color fidelity.

 

I assume the best way to do this is to first export to PDF and then print from Acrobat. Because I have been told that Acrobat is better about color handling than InDesign.

 

I have Adobe RGB as my working RGB space. Are these the right settings for the Output to PDF?

 

Screen Shot 2021-11-23 at 12.35.09 PM.png

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Engaged ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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The answer depends on a number of things, but yes, Adobe 1998 RGB is probably the most universal and 'stable' profile to use. If you are ONLY printing it to this one printer (i.e., not distributing the PDF for others to print) you will have more control printing directly from InDesign.

 

If you have a better model printer (above the usual SOHO units), Epson probably has a print profile available for it. Using that at the print stage (from PDF or ID) can help match document colors better to the unit's characteristics.

 

It's advanced and tricky to use such profiles at the export-to-PDF stage, and not recommended.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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I should have said: I do have an ICC Profile for my printer/paper combo.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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Hi @mos10279273  , Most Inkjet printer drivers are RGB with the conversion to the final print space (e.g. CcMmYKk) being handled by an RGB output profile (e.g. Epson Pro9600 Smooth Fine Art_MK) selected in the print driver. So I think the best approach is to edit in a single large RGB space—a space that contains the entire inkjet output space, something like Adobe RGB or ProPhotoRGB, but not sRGB—and export to Document RGB, including all profiles. I think what you are showing in your capture should work.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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I agree with rob in that, for best results, you let the printer do the conversion based on a proper ICC for your paper combo.

About the only time you wouldn't want to do that is if you were trying to do a contract proof to show what it would look like if it was printed on an SWOP offset press or some situation like that, but for you, there's no need to limit your gamut by not using all the colours your printer can deliver.

I have an HP Z3100PS 12-ink wide format, and the prints I get out of it are superb when sent an "No Conversion" PDF (with tagged profiles).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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@mos10279273 wrote:

I want to print an InDesign project to my Epson inkjet printer with the best possible color fidelity…I assume the best way to do this is to first export to PDF and then print from Acrobat. Because I have been told that Acrobat is better about color handling than InDesign.


 

That advice should be questioned, because everyone from designers to print service providers have been sending big-budget InDesign color jobs to high-end digital printers and presses for over 20 years. InDesign offers a level of color quality and print profile control comparable to Photoshop and other Adobe professional design software.

 

The fact is, once you understand what the correct color settings are to preserve the full color quality of your project into a PDF, then you automatically also understand what the settings are to send your job directly from InDesign to your Epson printer at full color quality, cutting out the extra PDF step entirely, and not having to go through intermediary color spaces.

 

The settings below are an example of how I would send a job from InDesign to my Epson inkjet, and they are basically the same as how it would be done through Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Illustrator, or Acrobat. I would use these settings when I’ve laid out several color photos in an InDesign layout.

 

InDesign-print-dialog-box-to-Epson-3880.jpg

 

Note that the Document Profile for the InDesign document above is Adobe RGB. If the Document Profile of your InDesign is actually the smaller sRGB, the default, or a CMYK profile, then you wouldn’t gain anything from going through Adobe RGB anyway. And if you really were going to go through PDF, there are other settings you should check carefully to preserve quality; for example, you would also want to click that Compression panel and check the settings, or you would run the risk of downsampling and compressing the images in the PDF — which could result in lower quality than printing directly from InDesign.

 

Better to just print directly from InDesign, with the correct color conversion and profile settings.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 24, 2021 Nov 24, 2021

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 @mos10279273  isn’t printing directly from InDesign, the question is what are the best PDF Export settings when the final PDF output will be to an RGB driven inkjet printer.

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Engaged ,
Nov 24, 2021 Nov 24, 2021

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No, the original question is "how to get best print quality from ID to a specific inkjet printer." That the OP assumes ID -> PDF -> Epson is best needs to be addressed in answering the actual technical question.

 

Unless there is some specific, unstated reason to export to PDF first, printing directly from ID will almost always give superior results.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 24, 2021 Nov 24, 2021

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Exactly, NitroPress. That‘s how I read the original question too, literally:

 

@mos10279273 wrote:

I want to print an InDesign project to my Epson inkjet printer with the best possible color fidelity.


 

“…print an InDesign project to my Epson inkjet printer” strongly suggests that the final output is going to happen in the same room, on a high quality color printer directly connected to the computer containing the InDesign document.

 

There is no need to go through extra PDF steps for that.

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