10 super-cool inkjet & imaging tips

1. How to save ink when cartridges are getting low on the Epson 7600/9600:

If you own one of the Epson Stylus Pro 7600/9600 printers, you might have noticed that if the inks are getting low (one or more lights blinking), and you do a nozzle check through the driver software, it might prompt you to replace the ink. However, I’ve found that there is usually still a good deal of ink in the cartridge, and the way to keep printing is as follows: The nozzle check should be done through your printer’s LCD panel. Just pull out your printer manual and use the controls on the printer panel to run a nozzle check and cleaning (if necessary). Paper needs to be loaded and letter-sized sheets work fine. This procedure will force the inks to run down until there is very little left. This advice is also applicable to other Epson printers.

2. How to print a nozzle check and do a cleaning when cartridges are getting low on the Epson Stylus Photo 2200:

If the computer’s Utility software tells you to replace the inks on the Epson 2200 before a light is solid, turn off the printer. Then hold down the button to the left of the power button as you turn on the printer. This will print a nozzle check even though the printer’s software won’t let you. To clean the heads, hold down the ink cleaning button on the printer for a few seconds. To do another cleaning, follow the above procedure.

3. Try some new papers

There are thousands of papers on the market. First decide what look you want and then consider the longevity rating of the paper you choose (if is has been tested). A great resource for all things related to longevity is www.wilhelm-research.com.

4. Avoid ink splatter on the back and edges of your paper.

Any time you print very close to the edge of the printer, there is a chance for overspray onto the rollers that feed the paper. Try using an old T-shirt and saturate it with Windex glass cleaner. Then, rub it back and forth across the space where the head travels. Also, spray a piece of plain paper with Windex and feed it through a few times by pressing the page advance button.

5. Get better black and white: 1 of 3 : Use one of Epson’s newest UltraChromeK3 printers.

The Epson Stylus Photo R2400, Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800 with the built-in Advanced Black & White software option can produce incredible results, and the software allows for a wide range of different tones.

6. Get better color and black and white: 2 of 3 : Print with the ColorBurst, Ergosoft or ImagePrint RIP.

ColorBurst, ColorByte Software and Ergosoft are well known for their ability to print good Color and B&W. The ColorBurst RIP comes free, or bundled at a discounted price with some Epson printers, or it can be purchased as a stand-alone program. Ergosoft’s options are vast, including a software RIP with the ability to control 12 separate colors.

7. Get better black and white: 3 of 3 : Use the Quadtone RIP by Roy Harrington.

Quadtone RIP is Mac OSX and Windows compatible and works with a large number of printers and inks. I really like the look of the prints I’ve output on the Epson Stylus Pro 7600 and Epson Stylus Photo 2200. The added advantage to this RIP is its cost–only $50.

8. Cover your printer!

I’ve seen dust and animal hair create terrible clogging and annoying smudge marks on inkjet prints. Avoid this by keeping your printer high off the ground and keep it covered when not in use.

9. Make a quick book.

One of the easiest ways to make a quick book from your inkjet prints is to put a few sheets together, then lightly mark them vertically in the center with a pencil in the place where they will be folded. Then score the sheets along that line and have a bindery or print shop staple the center in a few places. However, I prefer the look of Wire-O metal rings, especially with small books. The Wire-O’s come in different sizes and office-supply stores can add a cover and backing for just a few dollars. I’ve found Staples to be especially good for this type of project. There are many other book options available.

and last, but not least….

10. Make sure you really want to use an inkjet printer for your project(s).

I love inkjet printing, but sometimes color laser printing or continuous-tone photo printing by an outside service provider will do as good (or better) a job, faster and less expensively. Think about your needs before investing in a printer.

Thank you again for subscribing to the Inkjet & Imaging Tips Newsletter!

All the best,

Andrew Darlow

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