Sunday, September 03, 2006

Linux Newbie - Photo Printing

As I alluded to in my previous post, I have finally taken the time to experiment with printing in Linux. I have a (brand new) Epson C88. Installing the printer was dead simple on my Ubuntu Dapper system. It was simply a menu selection of System->Administration->Printing. Then I clicked 'New Printer' and it autodetected my Epson C88 and installed it.

So printing from OpenOffice or other apps just worked. But what about photo printing? How about printing from the Gimp?

So I fired up the Gimp, opened up a photo and selected File->Print. What opened up in front of me surprised me. It was a dialog box with every single option (if not more) that Epson's own dialog had provided for me in Windows. Only it was laid out better to my tastes - no more advanced menus hiding and showing choices. It just gave me all the important settings to play with. Very nice. I selected my paper, print quality, resolution, alignment and positioning and voila, out came a wonderful print every bit as good as what I had done on Windows.

I was impressed (and relieved to be honest). Now I'm not sure how easy it will be to maintain the printer from within Linux (clean nozzles etc..) but I already know of one command line utility that gives me the ink levels in percentages. I have to explore that command further. I believe there are options for doing nozzle checks and print head cleaning cycles.

Here's a screenshot of my desktop showing the print dialog from within Gimp: