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Archive for July, 2011

First Look – ImagePrint Version 9

ImagePrint 9 is just around the corner so we thought now would be a great time to offer our blog readers an exclusive preview of the new features you can expect with its anticipated August release.

New interface

The first change you’ll notice with ImagePrint 9 is the new Side Bar.  Now all commonly used settings will be visible at a glance–no more wading through multiple windows to get to the settings you need.  This should make setting up a print faster than ever and mistakes should be much easier to avoid.

Selecting files has gotten easier too with our new Image Strip. Its streamlined interface can be docked vertically or horizontally, plus it allows for favorite image folders to be set and quickly returned to.

Profiles made simple

Keeping with the “easier” theme–with ImagePrint 9 we’ll be introducing a completely new method of choosing printer profiles—Choose by paper name.  Cryptic profile filenames will be a thing of the past—just tell us the paper you’re using and the quality settings you need, and presto–ImagePrint will take care of picking the correct file from our huge library of ICC paper profiles.  And get this… if the profile is not available on your computer, ImagePrint will now automatically retrieve it from our online profile library if you have an internet connection.

Expanded Black and White toning

ColorByte is already famous for our black & white printing but with ImagePrint 9 we take it to a new level with greatly expanded toning controls.  We’ve taken our traditional Narrow Gamut Toning with Split Tones and given it a new interface while adding two additional tint picker zones.  That’s right, you can now control the tint individually in four distinct tonal ranges. And that’s not all– we’re also introducing Wide Gamut Toning.  Now you’ll have the ability to tone and split tone in any hue, not just those close to neutral.  This makes techniques like brown toning a snap to achieve.

Shuffle

Large format printers will love our new Shuffle feature which automatically rearranges images on your page to save paper.  Determining the most efficient layout when lots of images are involved can be a long, computer-intensive process with literally millions of combinations to churn through, but with Shuffle our advanced algorithms cycle through the most promising candidates first.  Throughout the process we always show you the current “best” layout so you can make the call to go ahead and print or keep trying to find an even better arrangement.

Going Global

For the first time ever, ImagePrint 9 will be translated into languages other than English.  German will be our first localization and should be available with the launch of version 9, but we plan to add more languages in the months after.

Compatibility

For Mac users, ImagePrint 9 will be the first version of ImagePrint to be compatible with OS X 10.7 (Lion).  Version 9 will be also work fine with OS X 10.6, 10.5 and 10.4.

For Windows users, ImagePrint 9.0 is compatible with Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Availability

ImagePrint 9 has an expected August, 2011 release date.  Any new purchases or upgrades since April 15th 2011 will get version 9 for free.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Platen Gap

In today’s post, ImagePrint Today tackles the subject of the platen gap.  Though often ignored or misunderstood, this setting can be a key factor in achieving sharp, problem free prints.

So.. just what is the platen gap, anyway?

The platen gap is simply the distance between the print head and the surface of the paper as it passes through the printer.  As papers of different thicknesses are loaded, this distance will necessarily become either larger (with thinner papers) or smaller (with thicker papers).

These differences in distance can affect the quality of the print.   Narrow gaps caused by thick papers can cause the print head to scuff the surface of the media, not only damaging it but potentially damaging the print head as well. Wide gaps caused by thinner papers can result in print banding, or may cause the output to look too soft due to inaccurate dot placement. Read more…

Categories: Printing Essentials

Did you know…?

Boundaries – Layouts within layouts!

Boundaries in action

ImagePrint makes it easy to add multiple images to a layout, but did you know there’s a way to create “sub-layouts” of images within a page?  The feature is called Boundaries, one of the most versatile and unique (and probably unknown) of all ImagePrint’s layout features. You can use a boundary to quickly put a colored background behind a group of images or just use it as an easy method of placing and moving groups of images while maintaining their position relative to one another.   Boundaries can be especially useful on larger printers as it allows you to easily create multiple album pages or greeting cards within a single page.

You create a boundary by right clicking (or control clicking if you don’t have a right mouse button) in an empty spot within your ImagePrint layout area. In the menu that appears, choose “Add Boundary”, then in the “Add Boundary Area” window type in a width and height (choose a size smaller than your current page, but one that will accommodate the images you plan to add). By default the boundary will be transparent, but if you want it to be a colored background, choose Solid at the top of the window and pick your color via the color picker menu at the bottom.

You should now see the boundary on your page. Now open some images and drag them into it.  You can click and drag images to move them around within the boundary area just like normal–nothing too special there.  But once you have some images within the boundary–try clicking an empty spot within the boundary and dragging.  The boundary itself moves, along with all of the images within it. You now have a region of images you can move anywhere on the page!

Once a boundary has been created, it’s size and color can’t be changed, so to make alterations you’ll need to delete it and recreate it with the new parameters. You delete a boundary just like an image–click the boundary, then choose the black scissors icon from the floating tool palette.

There’s a lot more that can be said about boundaries (for instance, the way they handle crop marks and annotations of images dragged into them is, well, cool) but that’s all we have space for here.  You’ll find more information  within the user’s manual (chapter 13) but those are the basics of this powerful, unique tool.

Categories: Did you know?

Focus on the User: William Palank

William Palank blames his insatiable lust for travel on being born on a US Air Force Base in France. Soon after his birth, his father’s work schedule necessitated he obtain his first passport at the early age of two weeks. “From the way my father describes it (a US Fighter Pilot and Officer testing military Fighter Aircraft throughout Europe), my father, mother and myself would bum a ride to his next working location in the holds of Cargo Planes often being dropped off at the ends of runways where my father would have to flag down a military vehicle to take us to base housing.”

For William, showing up in exotic locations armed with his trusty Leica M9 and array of Leica Summilux lenses is beginning to feel as natural as driving to the supermarket for a carton of milk for this frequent traveler. “I would say my most recent big goof when traveling abroad came when I just arrived at Bangkok International Airport from Burma. I decided to book online a trip to Saigon, Vietnam through Kayak.com for five days. After waiting several hours for my flight, it was only when checking in my baggage that I realized you couldn’t get a tourist Visa at the airport in Vietnam. The very kind Air Asia employee said I could exchange the ticket for any other of their flights. I told him that if I remembered correctly, Phnom Penh, Cambodia would process the Visa in airport. He confirmed and booked me on a flight leaving in an hour. I didn’t even have time to book a hotel. It ended up being a great trip!”

Read more…

Categories: Focus on the User