Full width printing Epson 3800 and OSX 10.6

There are still a few printing related glitches when printing from Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

This short note was kindly sent to us by Tony Purvis and covers some of his problems in printing the full width (17″) on an Epson 3800 printer (our full 3800 review).  I’ve included it in full with his permission.


Epson Stylus Pro 3800 and Mac OSX 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard) with Epson Traditional PhotoPaper (aka Exhibition Fiber in the US) 17inch (48.31cm) cut from roll

Having spent many hours, wasted a lot of paper and ink trying unsuccessfully to print consistently to this paper;  and after researching various forums I was still unable to come up with a method that worked every time;  invariably the print head would not lay down print across the full breadth of the paper – extremely frustrating!  Reluctantly I phoned Epson UK and had a long conversation with a technician who talked me through a print job, which failed at the final hurdle, printing to only about 13inches instead of the 17inches set in the various menus.  His explanation was that there appears to be a conflict between the operating system (Mac Snow Leopard) and the printer.  Not to be beaten, I spent more time and ink and paper, and eventually hit on a “method” that works (for me) every time!:

Mac – System Preferences – Language and Text – Formats – set measurement units to metric

Prepare image in Photoshop – Image – Image Size:  enter desired final print size in cm

Resolution:  either 360ppi [(uncheck 'finest detail' in driver menu - Print Settings) or 720ppi (check 'finest detail' )-  NOT NOW _ LATER!]

OK this…

File – Page Setup…

Manage Custom Sizes – hit  ‘+’ – give it a name e.g. ’17″-MAX’ – enter 43.18cm x XXXXcm (max: 95cm)

Non-Printable Area - ensure ‘EPSON Stylus Pro 3800′ is selected – margins will come up as 0.32cm in all 4 directions

‘OK’ all this

File – Print … uncheck ‘centre image’ and uncheck ‘scale to fit’ – enter desired top and left margins or clear boxes -all units must be in cmprint size should be showing the same as was entered in ‘Image Size’, if not, go back to ‘Image Size’ and change

‘Scale should be 100% and resolution ’360′ or ’720′

‘Match Print Colours’ and ‘Show Bounding Box’ should be left checked and ‘Print Selected Area‘ greyed out and unchecked

‘Colour Management’ should be showing in box (top right) and the document profile should be showing the ‘assigned profile’ (e.g. Adobe RGB) not the paper profile, which must be set as the ‘Printer Profile’ (in this case: SP3800_EFP_PK_2880

In the drop-down menu below :

Rendering Intent should be set to either ‘Relative Colorimetric’ (check ‘Black Point Compensation’ or ‘Perceptual’ (uncheck ‘Black Point’ (ignore ‘Proof’ details which should be greyed-out – If all looks okay in the preview box (orientation and margins) then hit ‘Print…If a box with a ‘clipping warning’ comes up- ignore it- hit ‘proceed’ – DON”T WORRY _ THE PRINT WILL BE FINE!!

Winning post in sight around the next bend!!…

Driver ‘Print’ menu… EPSON Stylus Pro 3800 should be showing – drop down menu

Paper Handling – ensure ‘scale to fit paper size’ is unchecked and ‘page set-up should appear as suggested size (greyed -out)

Print Settings  – Colour – OFF NO COLOUR ADJUSTMENT

‘Media Setting’ – Premium Gloss (for ‘Traditional’

Print Quality -2880dpi for ‘PhotoBlack’ type paper, (1440 for ‘Matte’  Paper) – leave boxes unchecked for 360ppi – [if finest detail is checked the printer driver will take over and print 720ppi (and vice-versa) ]

If Advanced Black & White is chosen, the ABW driver will take over colour management

Check 16 bit/channel (I always check 16 bits/channel in PS – Image – Mode, when I first open the image )

PaperConfiguration’ – (set to ‘wider’ to reduce risk of head-strike and ‘Paper Thickness’ set to 5 (works for me!)

Switch printer on…

Menu – PrinterSettings – set Platen Gap to ‘WIDER’ (needs to be reset if the printer is switched off or it will revert to ‘STANDARD’ – SET “PAPER SIZE CHECK TO “OFF”- this step is very important, otherwise the results are unpredictable!!  [Proviso:  set this to ‘ON’ if, and only if ‘USC (17″x22″) BORDERLESS is chosen in the ‘Page Set-up’ menu

Give the settings a name and save as a ‘PRESET’

One more thing – it’s a good Idea to cut the paper 3″+ longer than the custom size (this is added insurance against  a head-strike)

That’s it ….hit PRINT – BINGO!!!

Hopefully, Epson will eventually come up with a ‘Snow Leopard’ dedicated driver!

I have just now made a fantastic panoramic print (43.18cm x 89.17cm) with paper cut to 95cm, and using custom size of 43.18cm x 95cm preset in ‘Page Set-up’- great paper, but sadly that was the end of the roll!