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Use ImagePrint as a Lightroom External Editor

 

Image

Together at Last
 

Many of the same people who rely on ImagePrint to produce the best possible output for their images also rely on Adobe’s Lightroom to process and organize those same images. But… getting them from one program to the other can sometimes be a bit of a chore, requiring you to export the image from Lightroom, find the exported file on your computer,  then re-open it in ImagePrint.  Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid those extra steps and just go straight from Lightroom right to ImagePrint?  Well, it turns out there is a way to do just that. By setting up ImagePrint as an External Editor in Lightroom.

We’ve talked in the past about one other alternative to having to save files before printing them–ImagePrint’s PTA (Print through Applications) option, which is an add-on to ImagePrint that allows you to send prints directly from any program on your Mac or PC to the ImagePrint spooler by just clicking Print.

But, when it comes to Lightroom, there’s another way to get files into ImagePrint  that also avoids the dreaded File Save and File Open dialog boxes–one that doesn’t require any optional components and can be set up in less than a minute.

Lightroom’s External Editor feature is the key.  By setting up ImagePrint as an external editor, you can simply choose to  Edit in ImagePrint to have Lightroom place an image right in to ImagePrint’s layout window. Once there, you can utilize any of the normal ImagePrint workflow tools to position and size the image, then click Print to send it to the printer.   Remember:  the image that appears in ImagePrint will be a copy of the original Lightroom image–nothing you do in ImagePrint will affect that original.

Setting up ImagePrint as an external editor is easy.  The following guide is for Lightroom 4.0 on Macintosh, but the same general rules apply to the Windows version as well as previous versions of Lightroom.
 
 

lightroom_external_edit11. In Lightroom, choose Preferences from the Lightroom menu at the top of the screen.

Then, choose the External Editing tab at the top of the Preferences window.

Look for the section of the window labeled: Additional External Editor.

Now, click the Choose button.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

lightroom_external_edit2In the Choose file dialog that appears, locate the ImagePrint executable.

On Mac, the file you’re looking for is “ImagePrint.app”  You’ll find it in the ImagePrint folder inside your Mac’s Application folder.

On PC, look for the file “ImagePrint.exe”.  You’ll find it in the ImagePrint folder which is located in your Program Files folder.

Once you find the ImagePrint executable, click Choose to lock in your choice.
 
 
 
 
2. Now you can set some rules for Lightroom to follow when it sends images to ImagePrint.

  • In the File Format drop-down, choose TIFF.
  • In the Color Space drop-down, choose your preferred source space (usually Adobe 1998 or Pro Photo RGB).
  • In the Bit-Depth drop-down, choose 16 bit.
  • For Resolution, if you don’t plan to scale the image in ImagePrint, 240 or above is fine.  If you plan to use ImagePrint’s scaling, you may want to go higher to avoid losing detail.
  • Finally, for Compression, leave it at None.

 
 
 
 
lightroom_external_edit33. Now that we’ve set up ImagePrint as our editor and set the rules that Lightroom will use, we need to save our settings as a Preset.

Click the Preset drop-down menu at the
top of the Additional External Editor area and choose Save Current Preset.
 
 
 
 

lightroom_external_edit4Type in a name in the window that appears.

(ImagePrint might be a good choice).

Click Create, and you’ll have a new preset with the name you chose!
 
 
 
 
Now, when in Lightroom, you can right-click (or control-click) the image and choose Edit in ImagePrint (or whatever preset name you used) to quickly open the image in ImagePrint. You can also find that option under the Photo menu at the top of the Develop screen.

ImagePrint will launch (if it’s not already running), and the Lightroom image will appear in the layout window.
 
 

That’s it.  From Lightroom to ImagePrint, with one click.

You may never have to use a File Dialog box again!
 
 

ImagePrint 9.0 and Mountain Lion

OSX 10.8 Ready!OSX 10.8

As you probably know, Apple recently released OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion. We’re happy to announce that ImagePrint 9.0 is fully compatible with the new release! However there are a few things you should do to ensure ImagePrint and the new OS play nicely together.
Only ImagePrint 9 works with OSX 10.8. If you have a previous version, please contact our sales side for details on upgrading.

After Updating your OS, update your ImagePrint 9.0 too!
As with any operating system update, if you update the OS on a computer already running ImagePrint 9.0 you will need to download and run our Easy Updater to replace any system files the OS update overwrote. (Do this even if you are already on the most current ImagePrint 9 build.) You can get the ImagePrint 9.0 Easy Updater from ColorByte’s Technical Support page. Just download the Easy Updater for Macintosh, then double-click it to run it. No need to reinstall your printers or re-license the software.
Important: Only run the 9.0 updater if you have a valid ImagePrint 9.0 license! For details on updating from a previous version of ImagePrint, contact our sales dept.

Let ImagePrint through the Gate!
If you find that ImagePrint (or any ImagePrint related application) is blocked from opening after installing Mountain Lion, it’s Apple’s new GateKeeper trying to keep you safe from unknown programs. Please read the below information to allow the software to run and not be blocked in the future.

Mountain Lion has a new feature called GateKeeper that prevents unauthorized programs from launching. You may see a warning when launching ImagePrint for the first time after installing OS 10.8 telling you that the software is unauthorized to run. To allow software to launch in such a case, right click the application (or control click it) and choose Open in the menu that appears. You’ll then get a dialog with an Open button. Click the Open button and ImagePrint will launch. That’s it! ImagePrint will no longer be blocked from running in the future.

The same procedure applies to any other program or utility you wish to run, such as our Easy Updater, our Installer or our Profile Manager. — Just Right click it when opening for the first time after installing Mountain Lion, choose Open, then click the Open button in the dialog that appears.

If you find you can’t launch Spoolface by clicking the Spoolface icon at the top of the ImagePrint dashboard, you’ll need to manually open it once to tell GateKeeper to allow it.
In the Macintosh Finder navigate to the Spool folder within the ImagePrint folder (in Applications) and right click the Spoolface application. Choose Open in the menu, then click Open in the dialog box that appears.

Happy New Year from all of us at ColorByte!

January 9, 2012 5 comments

You may have noticed the blog has been rather quiet for the last couple months, and for good reason: ImagePrint 9 was in the final stages of development and it was all hands on deck to get it finished.  On Dec.16, the new version was released simultaneously for both Mac and Windows platforms and it has proven to be the most successful launch in the 20 year history of our company.

What makes any release successful is feedback from our users and we encourage anyone with a suggestion or idea on improving ImagePrint to let us know about it.  We really do take your input into account when planning for the future.  And remember, ImagePrintToday is also open to suggestions.  If there is a topic you’d like us to cover, please let us know about it.  We’re always looking for blog ideas.

If you haven’t stopped by to see our new web site, please do.  A lot of effort went into making www.colorbytesoftware.com  more modern and information based.  And be sure to check out our new tutorial section where we cover most ImagePrint features with a short video that will give you a better insight in to how version 9 works.

Now that the dust as settled we plan to get back to regular updates here at ImagePrintToday.  So stay tuned for lots of informative articles, showcases of talented users, information on gallery openings and upcoming workshops and the latest news about industry events that ColorByte will be participating in.

Finally, as we all get rolling into 2012, we want to say thanks to all our users and wish you the happiest of new years.  Here at ColorByte we look forward to it being one of our best yet!

Categories: ImagePrint 9

ImagePrint 9.0 Spotlight – Improved Narrow Gamut Toning

September 15, 2011 6 comments

In addition to the introduction of Wide Gamut toning, ImagePrint 9.0 also greatly enhances its already existing black and white “Narrow Gamut” toning abilities. (This type of toning refers to adding relatively subtle casts to achieve effects such as selenium or sepia toned prints). Here’s a brief overview of the changes.

ImagePrint’s narrow gamut toning was the first introduced to inkjet printers and is still the industry standard due to its ability to “split tones” based on the highlight/shadow areas of the image and then reproduce those tones with advanced inking methods that eliminate undesired casts due to changes in print viewing conditions.

ImagePrint 9.0 ups the ante yet again by adding the ability to specify the tone in not only the highlights and shadows but mid-tones as well.  That’s right–you’ll be able to individually adjust the narrow gamut tone in up to 4 distinct density ranges. Master-class black & white techniques previously only possible in the darkroom can now be reproduced right on your inkjet printer.

While we were at it we’ve also added contrast/boost controls right in the Narrow Gamut window allowing you to dynamically alter the density curve of the image as you adjust its tone.

Combined with ImagePrint’s amazing greyscale profiles, our narrow gamut image toning has long been the secret to success for hundreds of fine-art black and white photographers.  With the improved Narrow Gamut Toning capabilities of version 9 we think you’ll find that the tradition continues.

Categories: ImagePrint 9

ImagePrint feature spotlight – The Profile Valet

September 7, 2011 8 comments

One of the greatest strengths of ImagePrint has always been its state-of-the-art library of paper profiles.  But such a vast selection always came with a price: namely, finding the right profile for your paper  could be, well…kind of a pain.  Hard to decipher file names.  Cryptic quality, ink and light temperature choices.  External download managers.  You could easily spend more time figuring out which profile to use than it took to make the actual print.  ImagePrint 9 seeks to change all that with a unique and innovative approach to profile selection–the Profile Valet.  Here’s a peek at what to expect.

Papers, not profiles!

You don’t see an ICC profile name in big, bold letters on that box of new paper you just bought.  No, it’s the easy-to-read and descriptive name of the actual media itself that appears on the label.  So, when it’s time to pick the profile for that media why should you have to grapple with the jumble of abbreviations and confusing terms that make up a typical ICC/ICM profile’s name?

Well, with ImagePrint 9 you no longer have to.  The new Profile Valet contains a drop-down list of all of the papers we’ve profiled for your printer—not the profiles—the papers.  Just pick the paper by name (just like it reads on the box), choose a few basic options like color vs grayscale, and we’ll do the rest.

Of course, if you prefer the old way of choosing profiles, Choose by profile name will still be available.  But for most people the Profile Valet will take the pain out of selecting the right profile and will let you spend less time fiddling with profiles and more time actually using them to produce amazing prints.

Immediate access

In the past, if you didn’t have a particular paper profile you would have to download it from our online profile repository.  And while our Profile Manager utility simplified the task of getting and installing the right profile, it still meant opening a separate program, wading through lists of available profiles, and then choosing and downloading the correct one for your particular printer, paper and output needs.

What’s more—you could never be sure  if we even had the profile you needed to get until you went through the process of logging in to check.

With ImagePrint 9 and the Profile Valet you’re always up to date.  Each time the software launches, it synchronizes its list of available profiles for your printer with our online profile repository so you see a complete list right there in the Profile Valet’s  selection window.  And if the paper you choose requires a profile that  isn’t already on your computer it’s automatically downloaded from the repository and installed — all without ever having to leave or restart ImagePrint!

Favorites

Most people have a few papers they use over and over, but re-choosing the same profile and its associated settings each time you switch media can be a time-consuming, repetitious chore.  That’s why with ImagePrint 9 we’ve added the ability to save the currently selected profile along with your other color management choices as a Favorite.  Once added as a Favorite you can quickly choose it from the Favorites window.

Categories: ImagePrint 9

ImagePrint 9 Feature Spotlight – The Dashboard and Image Strip

Easier, Smaller, Faster

Improving ease-of-use has been a major focus of ImagePrint 9.0 and from the start we knew that a primary goal had to be streamlining the interface. The truth is, while ImagePrint has an amazing set of features, when it comes to actually making a print only a relatively few settings come into play. But getting to those settings has often meant navigating through several menu choices and opening multiple windows. Did you pick the right printer profile? Is the page size correct? Are you set for Roll? With so many places to go it can be easy to forget something and get an incorrect print as a result. That’s where the Dashboard  comes in.

The Dashboard puts all the features essential to making a print together in one place, organized into an easily accessible and logical menu structure. Gone are the days of wading through sub menus to get to commonly used settings. The menu choices are laid out in a top to bottom format that takes you naturally through all the steps needed to make a print, and the currently selected options are always visible at a glance. The end result? A much less cluttered interface and a greatly reduced likelihood of making a mistake.

We’ve also simplified the printing process itself. Once your images are positioned on the page (and after a quick glance at the Dashboard to confirm your settings) it just takes a single click to send a job to the printer. No more having to go into another window to confirm final selections just to have to click print again.

With fewer windows on the screen the available working space area is naturally increased. But we went a step further. By incorporating folder navigation into the new menus we were able to redesign the file browser into a much more efficient and less obtrusive tool…the new Image Strip.

Just like the File Browser the Image Strip offers thumbnails of your images which can be dragged or double-clicked to place them in the current layout. But the Image Strip sports a much leaner interface and allows docking both vertically or horizontally into the ImagePrint main window. You can also choose to run the Image Strip in non-docked mode and expand it to display more images or change the size of the thumbnails shown. Finally, we’ve added a Favorites tab to store your most frequently accessed folder locations for easy navigation.

Together, these tools represent the biggest ever change to ImagePrint’s user interface. With its more intuitive and logical organization we think you will find ImagePrint 9 to be the easiest to use version yet!

Categories: ImagePrint 9

ImagePrint 9 Feature Spotlight – Shuffle

Continuing our series of spotlights on what’s coming up in ImagePrint 9, this week we take a closer look at Shuffle and see how picking the best layout is not always as simple as it may seem.


Layout optimization – the possibilities are (nearly) endless

Arranging multiple images on a page in the most paper-saving way possible sounds easy on the surface.  Even a reasonably fast computer these days is capable of billions of instructions per second, so how long can it possibly take to analyze, say, 20 images on a page to determine the arrangement that saves the most media?

Turns out, it can take a while–a long while.  Especially when you consider images of different sizes and add in the option of rotating the images 90 degrees.  For instance,  in the case of 10 images arranged in a simple row there are 3,628,800 combinations.  Not too bad, until you figure in the ability to rotate  images.  Then it jumps to over 3.5 billion.  For 20 images that number increases to a staggering 2.55108266 x 10^24 combinations (that’s 2.5 followed by 24 zeroes).  Even for very fast computers it won’t take too many images before you are talking hours, days, weeks or longer to calculate all the different layouts.   Unless you’re willing to wait a very long time to save a few inches of paper, you probably need a faster method.

Do the shuffle

ImagePrint 9’s new Shuffle feature uses a combination of algorithms  to determine the most promising arrangements to calculate first. It then goes about testing these potential layouts, displaying  the best its found so far as it goes. At any time in the process you can  make the call to go ahead and send that current winner  to the  printer or keep waiting for something better to come along.   To make your decision easier,  it shows you how much paper you’ve saved compared to the original layout at the bottom of the screen.

We’ve found that within 30 seconds Shuffle has usually zeroed  in on a layout  that’s within five percentage points of the best possible.  Give it a couple of minutes and you’ll likely be within 1 percent, though results may vary depending on size of the images and page.

If you don’t want to be tied to the screen while shuffle does it’s thing,  just click the “Shuffle and Print” button and specify a duration. When the allotted time is up, ImagePrint will automatically print the best layout it’s found up to that point.

More work or more media?

One pitfall of laying images out in the most media-stingy way possible is that you can end up with a final print that looks like a jigsaw puzzle of  nested images.  Separating such a layout can require a lot of manual, right-angled scissors work, so if  you need to make straight across cuts you’ll want to make sure “horizontal cut lines” is enabled.  This mode ensures that Shuffle arranges the images in rows with clear horizontal cut-channels between them for easy cutting.  While this mode will usually result in less media being saved it can be invaluable to those who don’t want to cut out each image by hand.

Availability

Combined with ImagePrint’s Inked Area Only feature (which ensures the printer only outputs paper as far as the last image on the page)  Shuffle is a tool that anyone who prints multiple images on roll paper can take advantage of–anyone who gets ImagePrint 9, that is.   Make sure to give it a try when it becomes available–you may find it saves you paper, and money,  with every print.

Categories: ImagePrint 9