Printing Images

To print images from within the GIMP, you'll obviously need to connect a printer to your computer and make sure a recent driver is installed. Generally, you can find drivers via a Download or Support link on the printer manufacturer's website. Gutenprint offers drivers for Linux and Mac OS X at http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/.

Altogether, Gutenprint has over 700 drivers available that work with CUPS, LPR, LPRng, and other UNIX printing systems. Therefore, you can use the GNU General Public License (GPL) released drivers not only for Linux but also for Mac OS X. Some of the developers promise that their drivers have a higher printing quality than that of the manufacturers.

Gutenprint used to be called Gimpprint. The name was changed to clarify that it isn't just a plug-in for GIMP. Nevertheless, the plug-in for GIMP remains in the assortment of drivers. Additionally, Gutenprint encompasses CUPS and Ghostscript, and it also supports Foomatic.

After you install your driver, the operating system recognizes your printer automatically when you plug it into the USB port. You can select your standard printer in the print preferences (in Windows, Start menu > Devices and Printers). Whether your printer is connected to a parallel port or a USB port can be a factor. Older GIMP versions recognize some printers at the parallel port only, even though the printer works flawlessly over the USB port when accessed from within other programs. With a newer version of GIMP, it shouldn't be a problem anymore. If you should still have any problems, you can find help in various forums online. A list of current forums can be found at: http://www.gimpusers.com/forums/.

Nevertheless, driver problems can arise, preventing you from printing directly from the GIMP program. Epson printers seem to have the most problems. But you can work around most of these problems by printing your images from within another program, such as IrfanViewer.

The Print dialog is found in the image window under the File > Print menu. You'll see a standard Windows print dialog to which GIMP adds an Image Settings tab. If you installed a print program specific to your printer, a device-dependant program window will appear that you can use to configure your settings.

The following settings are available in the GIMP Print dialog:

• Select Printer—A drop-down list for selecting the appropriate printer if you have more than one printer installed. This is also where you would select the printer at the parallel port (LPT1).

• Page Range—These options are used to print specific pages of a multipage document, such as EPS or PostScript (PS) files.

• Number of Copies—This is where you enter the number of copies you want to print.

Clicking the Preferences button opens a dialog in which you can set the following options, depending on your printer:

• Page orientation (Portrait or Landscape)

• Print type (color, gray levels, or black and white)

• Resolution (sometimes set automatically, depending on the paper selected)

Depending on your printer, there may be more settings available, such as paper size and other variables.

On the GIMP-specific Image Settings tab are various options to configure the page setup, the image size, and the position of the image on the page.

Figure 2.34

The standard Windows print dialog.

Figure 2.34

The standard Windows print dialog.

Figure 2.35

The print dialog showing GIMP's Image Settings tab. Here you can configure the page setup, image size, and image position.

Most large photo shops expose with a resolution of 300 dpi and accept only the JPEG file format. If you plan to take your images to a photo shop, collect and save them in 300 dpi resolution and JPEG format before burning them on a CD.

Keep in mind that you can always burn your images on a CD and have them printed at a photo shop.

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