Adobe Photoshop is default- for image editing and photo retouching. This also means that the number of options and features it has can overwhelm the user. Preview in Photoshop is one of them. Photoshop gives you full control over the printing options for your images, but knowing what they mean can be challenging even for an advanced user.
This is an overview of the Print Preview feature in Photoshop. While not a complete guide, it will address the most common needs of the non-designer or in-house designer. While this article is not intended to explain Preview in all its details, it sheds light on the most important.
- Getting to know the Photoshop preview pane
- Photoshop Preview: Scaled Print Size Options
- Photoshop Preview: Advanced Options
- Photoshop Preview: Color Management Options
- Photoshop Preview: More Color Management Options
- Photoshop Preview: Output Options
Getting to know the Photoshop preview pane
Go to the page to open the preview window File > Print… (or File > Print with preview in older versions of Photoshop). The Print Preview feature not only lets you see how your document will print, but you can also change page settings, and so on.
Let’s take a look at the preview window. In the top left corner, of course, you will see a preview of your document. Next to the preview you can see the value in the Position panel and the values in the scaled print size.
These values determine how your image will print on your page. This image has the “Center Image” checkbox checked, but if it wasn’t checked, you can control exactly where your image should be printed by changing the X and Y values. If you don’t like inches, you can set the values in centimeters, millimeters, points or peaks. Changing these values will not affect the size that appears on your page.
Photoshop Preview: Scaled Print Size Options
Instead, the Scaled Print Size pane affects the size of the image. You can resize the image by entering a percentage in the Scale box or by entering a value in the Height or Width box. Changing the value in one field changes the value of the other proportionally. The little chain icon on the right actually means that the proportions are preserved.
When Show Bounding Box is checked, Photoshop shows the edges of your image. In our example, the black rectangle around the logo you see in the example is the bounding box. You can see that the logo is significantly smaller than the page itself.
The bounding box is not printed with the image, it is only displayed in the preview. It allows you to resize your image by dragging the mouse out (to decrease its size) or out (to increase its size).
Under the Show Boundary Box option is the Print Selected Area option. In our example it is disabled. To make this option available, you must first make a selection and then open the preview window by going to the section File > Print with preview . In this case, the Print Selected Area option is available, and when this box is checked, Photoshop will only print the area within the selection.
Photoshop Preview: Advanced Options
To change the size of the paper you are printing on, go to Page Settings on the right side of the preview window.
Below the Page Options button, you’ll see a button that says Fewer Options. Clicking it will make all the options you see in the preview panel disappear. These settings are usually not necessary unless you are setting up your document for professional output. We’ll look at them very briefly, but we won’t go into them right now. If no advanced options are displayed, the Less Options button switches to More Options.
Below the preview panel, you will see a drop-down menu. It should default to color management, but you will see that there is one more option in the drop-down menu, which is output.
Photoshop Preview: Color Management Options
Before we get into the color management options, let’s understand what color management does. The colors in the chart don’t look the same on my monitor as they do on yours. Colors may appear bluer or darker on my monitor, while colors may appear redder on your monitor.
This is good. Even between monitors of the same brand, colors will look different. The same goes for printing images. One printer will be different from another, even if they are the same brand. One type of ink is different from another and one type of paper is different from another.
Color management allows you to ensure that colors look the same when viewed or printed on different devices. You can usually “write” your color settings in files called color profiles that you can give to the person who will receive your images so that he/she/she can view or print them with the correct colors.
Photoshop Preview: More Color Management Options
When you select Color Management in the preview pane, you will see three panels below them: the Print panel, the Options panel, and the Description panel. Whenever you hover your mouse over one of the options in the preview pane, you’ll find an explanation of that option in the description panel.
In the “Print” panel, you can select “Document” or “Proof”. When a document is selected, Photoshop prints your images using the current color settings – printer settings or Photoshop settings.
Whether it’s the former or the latter depends on the choice you make in the Color Handling drop-down menu, where you can choose Allow Printer to Detect Colors, Let Photoshop Detect Colors, or No Color Management. (There is another option, but we’ll leave it for the purposes of this article).
When Sample is selected, Photoshop emulates the type of color environment you selected from the Sample drop-down menu. Professional printers will use their own color profiles to print evidence.
You can then select a printer profile (what type of printer you want to print files from) and a few other things, but you probably don’t need to know what those options are unless you work at a printer service bureau. ,
Photoshop Preview: Output Options
As mentioned earlier, the print preview window may display color management options or output options. To see output options, select “Output” from the drop-down menu below the preview area.
You will see the bottom options in the preview pane change. The possibilities you see here mainly have to do with the professional result. Here you can set options such as bleeding, screen frequency and so on.
If you manage to get the hang of these options, you’ll probably end up using the background and border options. Background changes the color of the background your image is printed on, while Border adds a colored border around your image.