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Inkjet output from Quark not as good as..

Posted on 1999-01-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I'm trying to output a Quark file on my Epson Stylus Photo.  Though the tiffs look OK, when printing the same tiffs from Photoshop they are noticable better.  I've spent 8 hours (and $60 worth of paper and ink) printing out through Quark and changing all sorts of settings (eficolor etc.).  I can't find the key.  Would really appreciate the help.
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Question by:leoS
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by:Epsylon
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Are those tiff's RGB or CMYK?

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by:leoS
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I've tried both, and CYMK looked worse, so since RGB was close, this's what I've tried the most.

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by:Epsylon
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Use the right postscript drivers for quarkxpress
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by:leoS
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My printer isn't a postscript printer.  Unless I'm mistaken, a postscript driver won't help me.

Thanks for trying (and let me know if my Epson Stylus Photo can use a postscript driver)

Leo
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by:Epsylon
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There is an optional Pantone certified PostScript RIP available...

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by:leoS
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I need a little more here.... I don't what a "Pantone certified PostScript RIP" is or where to get it.

Thanks again.
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by:Osiris010898
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You need to set up a Color Management System. This could be really involving and expensive, there are cheap CMS packages out there, also having a good knowledge of color spaces helps alot.  Basically you need to create ICC profiles of your devices and incorporate the CMS software into your system and apps.  But a CMS software is pretty much useless unless you have at least a colorimeter, you need this to calibrate your monitor, and to take readings from your printer output to create proper monitor and printer profiles.  X-rite has a cheap CMS package that includes a colorimeter  about $600, Colortron is also a good colorimeter and it include Colorshop, and ColorSynergy, Some monitor manufacturers like Radius and LaCie include colorimeters with their higher end monitors. If you've read this far, you realize that you really need to invest time and money to ensure consistent  color reproduction across your devices, and you know what... all this might not  even prove to be succesful, there's just too many variables  that could cause inconsistentcies, amibent light settings, quality of your monitor/printer etc.
It doesn't  seem like you want to invest in this sort of things, so I'll suggest some cheap alternatives (no guarantees)
1. if u print from Quark use an RGB TIFF, your epson actually is an RGB  profiled printer, even tho it uses 4 inks
2. if your on a mac use the built-in COLORSYNC CMS, it's decent, not the best. set up your monitors control panel to use colorsync profiles that fit your monitor, set-up Photoshop and Quark to use Colorsync, then configure your Epson to use Colorsync (however Epson Printer don't support Colorsync to well) Then imbed your tiffs with colorsync profiles and import it into Quark.
3. dump eficolor it sucks, its pretty useless, Kodak CMS isn't too far behind
4. If you have Quark4, try the Pantone POCE system included with Quark, might be succesful
5. calibrate your monitor with Pantones cheapo monitor calibrator about $50, it's not too bad
6. make sure colors in your photoshop image are not out of gamut, there's no way to reproduce colors like a flourescent green or blue or any really "vivid" colors through an inkjet (unless you get epson's high end printers)
I don't think you  want to get this involved, but if you've spent hours tweaking settings in photosop and your epson print settings with no luck, you might have to spend some time and money


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by:leoS
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Well- that was something!! I want to thank Osiris.  The color reproduction was just fine and consistant.  The problem was that when printing from photoshop the image was perfect.  When printing from Quark the images picked up some grainyness.
At the digital imaging center at B&H here in New York City, they backed up what Epsylon had to say, that Quark nesessitates the use of a PostScript print driver for the Epson.  It's $90 ($145. from Epson). but when I went to make the purchase, they said, "now we're not promising this will solve your problem."  So I've held up making the purchase, either to get more info or to find a store with a good software return policy just in case (really).

Thanks for all that information about things I didn't know existed.
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by:Epsylon
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Why don't you contact Epson and ask them about your problem?
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by:leoS
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Mmmm... yeah, that sound like a good idea... Thanks.
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by:Osiris010898
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trying to get things straight here...
1. you have an epson inkjet, it's not a postscript device. when you say "Postscript print driver" do you mean a postscript Rip software (rasterizing image processor). This is only needed if you wish to "print to file" /creating Postscript Files or printing EPS files placed in your document. A postscript software for inkjets would be something like Birmy Power Rip, Zenographic's SuperPrint 5 or Stylescript.
2. But you say it's a Tiff, so I don't think this would do much good.

Are you on the Windows platform? What version of Quark are you running?
I found that there is a whole slew of documented incompatabilities between Epson Printers and Win Quark users. Alot of these problems are closely related to what you've stated.
Some possible solutions:
1) save as BMP format
2)when you place your tiff in a picture box in Quark, are you making sure to fill the box with white, if it isn't your image might  print with jagged edges, I don't know if this could be your meaning of "graininess".
3)save your TIFF with LZW compression off
4) Quark 4.04 prints Tiffs better than version 3.3 when printing to Epsons

goto Quark's tech site and maybe you'll come across something, but it does seem to be a Quark/Epson related issue.
http://www.quark.com/cgi-bin/webtools/bbs_forum.cgi

Oh well, goodluck....
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by:leoS
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Sounds like we're getting close and it's doesn't seem like good news.
Yes, I do mean a RIP not a print driver.  I wish I had read your message a few hours earlier.  I just went out and bought the software.  I have Quark 3.32 in Windows, so what you say about Epson and Quark could really be the problem ( I've heard bad things about Quark 4.0- is it as buggy as they say- should I bag Quark - if this RIP doesn't work- and get Freehand?).
When you say save as a BMP, you mean in Quark, right? I've played with what the box is filled with and it hasn't made a difference, it's nice to know what it should be, though.
Thanks again...

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by:leoS
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You know, I'm not going to open this Rip package.  I bet it won't help.  I think I should try to upgrade to Quark 4.04 and hope for the best. Another option would be to upgrade to Photoshop 5 and do the layout in that.
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by:Osiris010898
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Tough choice... upgrading to Quark 4+, pretty hefty price for the upgrade something like $400-$500 bucks. Your problems might not go away-Win Quark 4+ users report the same problems, but on the other hand, users have reported better output to epsons w/ 4.0+, so it's  a big (expensive)chance to take. Hopefully Epson & Quark can resolve these issues soon.  Quark 4 is a great upgrade, and most of all the bugs have been worked out, but there are still a few annoying quirks, namely your problem. You need to figure out your end usage/purpose, before spending more dough on software. Quark is a great professional layout program, pricey but superb. Are you a designer? Is this for professional work? Are doing professional work and using the epson as a proofing device for yourself and clients? If it is for professional usage, then investing in better software/upgrades is necessary as well as investing in better hardware and peripherals. But also check out your alternatives to Quark (the less expensive alternatives) such as Ragemaker, I mean Pagemaker, okay for the price. but lacks the great qualities of Quark. These two programs are mainly designed to handle multiple paged documents with support for  graphics, such as magazines and the like. If you are only creating one or two paged layouts, then Freehand or Illustrator (I'd recommend Freehand, Illustrators lame) will suffice.  Ideally you would want a 1) layout prog like Quark or Cheesemaker, I mean Pagemaker, 2) a vector art prog like Freehand, or Illustrator , and please stay away from Corel!, 3) a digital editing program =Photoshop (Pshop is all you need!), also you could do all your graphics/publishing on a Mac, and avoid problems like you are having ; )
But if your usage is strictly personal/home usage, then  go for the cheaper priced software packages. If you have the money get Quark 4., but if not then try  Pagewhacker I mean Pagemaker, or get Freehand. Also Photoshop is made for digital editing of images to be placed in the above mentioned layout programs. Photoshop 4 is fine no need to upgrade unless u have money or need the new features.  I'm rambling on... but anywayz, save your tiff as aBMP in PShop then place in Quark( no guarantees here), keep your postscript software, cuz you might need it later, especially when u need to print placed EPSFiles on your inkjet.  Invest in Freehand and/or Illustrator.  
...goodluck
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by:leoS
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The reason for all this commotion is that I had a new promotional piece designed for me (I'm a photographer- leosorelphotography.com).  Because the epson does such a good job with pics and because I just discovered some terrific (and heavy weight) paper, I can print them at home (I don't do massive mailing). The sure thing fix  (and I've already set it up this way) is to print the text out of Quark and run the paper again through, printing the images through pshop ( doing self promotion is such a pain, that keeping it as easy as possible is important).
I'm a little confused, Osiris, the new Quark might still be trouble for me and my Epson, but some users report this problem is better. <Your problems might not go away-< but on the other hand, users have reported better output to epsons w/ 4.0+ <there are still a few annoying quirks, namely your problem. I sound like there's no way of knowing for sure.
Do you think there is any chance this Rip will help?  Also, the print is very slow.  Will the Rip make the process even slower?  Thanks so much for you time--check out my pics!
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by:Osiris010898
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The thing about conflicts/bugs is that not all users experience the same ones, this could be due to the difference in CPU's Operating Systems, other apps causing the bug, various system configurations etc, the list goes on.

Your postcript software, I believe it's Epson's StylusRIP, allows a non postcript printer(your inkjet) to properly/smoothly print out EPS FIles. EPS Files being mainly vector art files  created in Freehand/Illustrator or  Photoshop images saved as an EPS File.
Whether it will improve color quality, I really don't know, most likely not, since they are tiffs. Will it improve printing time? couldn't help you there. I work on both Macs and PC's, I've tested printing times from both (I also have  Epsons,  a 600 and 3000) and found that  printing thru windows w/ quark is about 30% slower.  It's a Quark/Epson/windows thing.

Have you upgraded to the latest Quark 3.3 version? I think its version 3.3r5- this might help

my last suggestions:
• open the image in Photoshop, "save-as" BMP (there's a popup menu at the bottom of the Dialogue box),  press Save, then in the next box that shows up, select, "windows/24 bit" save and re-import into Quark-then print

• Or, install the RIP, open the image in Photoshop, "save-as" Photoshop EPS, in the dialogue box,  under "Preview" select 8bit Tiff, under "encoding" select ASCII, leave "clipping path" to none, leave "include halftone screen & transfer function" unselected. Re-import into  Quark and try to print-

all outta of suggestions...
I checked out your photos, pretty  impressive, I'm also a grahic designer/photographer, been in the print /publishing/ graphic design industry for well over  11 years, and, well, this might be my last suggestion... consider getting a mac, not evangelizing here, but I've worked on both platforms, still do, but I keep all my high end color work/designing on the mac  side,  why? stability, less problematic files at ouput, more support in the graphic/publishing field, etc. With your quality of work, I'd consider it, or if not you might have to invest in better equipment
-good luck

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by:leoS
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Thanks again for your helpand your kind words about my work.  I'll let you know what happens.
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JeffSLH earned 200 total points
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I've been using a Epson Stylus Color 800, with experience installing Epson's 1520, 740, Color II's for other people. The results from Quark 3.32r3 for Windows ARE NOT as good as from Photoshop printing. I've also tried every trick in the book, but cannot get quite as good a result as I can from printing out of Photoshop. One thing I have done is download the QuarkXPress 4.0 demo program: http://www.quark.com/quarkxpress/qxpdemos.html
I found that although the demo places a huge "DEMO"-type of cover over the output page, you can still see what to expect. The quality from Quark 4 and Epsons is DEFINITELY better. One other thing to keep an eye on is a product Adobe is coming out with, supposedly by this summer: Adobe PressReady. This is a way to get Postscript 3 and ICC color calibration for a (currently) small number of inkjet printers. List price is $150. My hope is that since Photoshop 5 supports ICC standards, Quark 4 also supporting ICC standards, that this postcript product's ICC ability will give a consistent result. (In Quark 3.32, the color NEVER looked quite the same as it did in Photoshop, so it was difficult to tell how to "set-up" a file to end up with a acceptable product.

Here's the address for the Adobe PressReady description:
http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/pressready/main.html
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by:leoS
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Thanks for your response.

Though at one point I thought I was going to solve the problem by using Adobe Acrobat, the theory being that a .pdf file would do better then the quark file (a simpler file format).  Well, the results were lousy.

I upgraded to Quark 4, but I haven't tried printing the images out with it.  I've given up.  What I've been doing is printing once in photoshop and then printing on the same sheet the Quark file, minus the images.  What I really should do is upgrade photoshop, then I could do everything I need to do with the type.

Thanks though, for your imput.
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