Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Photo Printing in Linux

A recent article in LXer points out that printing photos in Linux is a nightmare. And while I can't comment on most of the apps that she's tried, I can say that I've been quite satisfied printing in the Gimp.

I recently bought a new Epson R380 printer. So new in fact that Feisty didn't have support for it. It turns out that the Gutenprint project added support for this printer as of version 5.0.1. Installing these drivers was a bit of a quagmire, but I got it done. And luckily, the next release of Ubuntu (Gutsy) will support this printer out of the box.

So contrary to the LXer author's findings, I can print photos quite happily in the Gimp. Yes, even high quality borderless ones (I've printed borderless 8x10's and 4x6's so far). Colour profiling and correction for the printer is not easy, but I have to say that with a little tweaking to lower the greens and increase the magenta levels, I've managed to get very nice colour prints. And besides, my dad has an older model Epson R300 that he uses with XP (and the Epson drivers) and his prints always end up magenta-heavy, so colour profiling is not something that's really easy on any platform - it's a feature that requires simplification everywhere - and no, getting your printed output to match your screen in Photoshop is not that easy either - definitely not easy enough.