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How to print photos from Aperture the easy way

Derrick Story | July 9, 2013
Printing photos for display doesn't have to be complicated. These basic steps will have your masterpiece framed for admiring eyes in a jiffy.

In the Printer pane below the presets, choose your printer and the paper size you wish to use. For the first image, I'll print borderless, I'm choosing 13 x 19 Sheet Feeder Borderless. The paper size depends on the kind of output the printer supports, so not every printer will have the same options. In the next pane, Layout, set the orientation and image size. You can choose the specific paper size from the pop-up menu, or go with Maximum to Fit, as I did here.

Once you have the basics in place, jump down to the Rendering pane. Here's one of the most important changes with modern inkjet printers: You can choose Printer Managed from the Color Profile pop-up menu. In the past I had to work with ICC profiles. But the current Epson technology has made this part of the process much easier. And since I know I have a big enough file for this output (thanks to my 16-megapixel image), I can choose Auto from the Print Resolution pop-up menu.

Now click the Print button. Aperture will prepare the job and hand it off to your printer. We're not done quite yet. The Epson will have a few more questions, so it presents its own print dialog box. The only area I really concern myself with is thr Printer Settings pop-up menu in the middle of the dialog box.

Select the type of paper that's loaded in the printer via the Media Type pop-up, choose color, or as in my case, AccuPhoto HG, for print mode. In the Color Mode pop-up menu, I go with Epson Vivid, but you also have the option for sRGB or Adobe RGB. Generally speaking, you will also get very good results with Adobe RGB.

I recommend choosing Best Photo from the Output Resolution pop-up and turning off High Speed for the final print (however, I often use it with the first print and can't really tell a substantial difference in quality). The click the Print button.

Fine-tune adjustments (if necessary)
More than half the time, the first image that emerges from the printer is good, and I stop right there. If I do need to make a few small adjustments, however, I can using the Image Adjustments pane. The sliders here for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpen affect only the print job, not the original image itself.

Once I find the correct adjustments, I can save these settings by clicking the gear menu at the bottom of the dialog box and selecting Duplicate Preset. Give your new preset a descriptive name so you'll recognize it when you return.

I'll conclude our printing exercise with a tip. One of my favorite tricks is to set extra-wide margins, such as 1.5 inches. This will float your photo in the center of the paper, giving it a classy art gallery appearance, but without your having to cut mats.


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