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Printer Calibration: How to Calibrate your Printer?

written by: •edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 5/29/2009

Printer calibration ensures that there is a consistency between the image that you have viewed on screen and the one that you have taken a print of. Both of the images must bear a striking resemblance to each other.

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    Often you may have come across situations when the color of a graphic on screen is completely different from the one you ended up printing. Sometimes the results may not vary with such great intensity but still the print is somewhat different from what you see on screen. In this case, printer calibration proves to be of immense help.

    Printer calibration ensures that there is a consistency between the image that you have viewed on screen and the one that you have taken a print of. Both of the images must bear a striking resemblance to each other.

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    Why and How to calibrate your printer

    The main purpose of calibrating your printer is to optimize the distribution of ink on paper. The first step to calibrate your printer is monitor calibration. At the same time, you also need to make sure that you are using the appropriate printer driver. The printer driver has built-in options that lets you control the color of the printed image. You are required to make the adjustments as per your needs and requirements.

    Besides this method, there are two other general ways to set additional printer calibration – mechanical and intimidate. In some cases, you may need an expensive and accurate option to calibrate your printer and at these times using a hardware device to read the output from the printer seems to be the correct option. You can make adjustments as per your needs. However, for typical users’ generic color profiles usage or visual calibration works absolutely fine.

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    What is basic visual calibration?

    This can be clearly defined as making use of test images along with an extensive array of tonal values. This ideally is comprised of several color bars, color blocks, and photographs. What’s more impressive is that you can easily match up the print colors with the onscreen colors.

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    Using Printer Calibration Tools

    The printer calibration tools are an essential part of the calibration process. They offer you a wide variety of settings in generic profiles and also let you customize them according to your needs. You must only choose the tools which provide you with the flexibility to set accurate color representation.

    Note: Most importantly, there should be adequate provision of incorporating color calibration while using printer tools since it's all about optimizing colors to get the best print material possible. For instance, Color calibration can be done with ICC profiles. They ensure you a consistent representation of colors as well. The files are precise to each piece of equipment on the system and also contain vital information about the way in which the device produces color. It is highly recommended to calibrate all the other color devices along with the printer.