I don't really understand the whole printable area concept. Why can't a printer print right up to the edges? What's the largest size image I can print on, say, an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet? Does anybody use "borderless" paper? I could probably find this information in my printer's documentation, but it's more fun to ask you guys.
#1. "RE: Printable Area: What's the Deal?" | In response to Reply # 0bobj Charter MemberThu 17-Apr-03 04:49 PM
Depends on the printer. Many these days can print all the way up to the edge.
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#2. "RE: Printable Area: What's the Deal?" | In response to Reply # 0BJNicholls Charter MemberThu 17-Apr-03 06:51 PM
Since you don't even mention a printer model, you'll still have to check the manual to see what its capabilities are. The border area prevents ink overspray on the drive rollers and gives the paper handling mechanism something to grip when it ejects the print.
Borderless printing doesn't work very well on any inkjet printer, it seems. The Epson 2200 will do borderless prints, but as Dave C. noted in these forums, there is a banding artifact that comes when the print head kicks into a lower ink output mode near the end of the print. My bet is that this is to help prevent marring of the undried ink by the drive rollers. I personally have never tried nor wanted borderless prints until I made some to verify this problem.
Then I found references to the identical problem for Canon printers. Apparently they use a similar strategy to create borderless prints without roller marks.
If your printer can do borderless printing watch for a lighter stripe about 1/2" wide and about 1/2-3/4" from the end of the print. My advice? Either print with borders and trim to get the best borderless results, or learn to love borders as I do...
#3. "RE: Printable Area: What's the Deal?" | In response to Reply # 2zhonedout Nikonian since 19th Jul 2002Thu 17-Apr-03 07:40 PM
I have learned (as bj puts it) to love borders. Borders actually look better IMO; and borders eliminates the banding problem I experienced with borderless prints.
I use minimum borders of about .75in on Letter size; 1.0in on A3 and 1.2in on SuperB. I also put a very thin (about 10 - 15 pixels @ 360ppi) accent border around the image. Try it! You might like it!
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#4. "RE: Printable Area: What's the Deal?" | In response to Reply # 3Georgebaby Basic MemberThu 17-Apr-03 11:47 PM
Thanks guys. I guess I forget to mention I have an Epson 2200. I'm not as interested in getting borderless prints as I am in trying to figure out what's the largest print I can get on any given size paper. It seems that if the image is centered on the page, it can't be as big as it can be if it's off-center (standard vs. centered, I think it's called...) I like the borders, but they seem to be a little bigger than ideal when I center the image. I'm going to poke around and see if I can find something in the documentation. I'll post if I do.
#5. "If you MUST have borderless prints..." | In response to Reply # 4RRowlett Charter MemberFri 18-Apr-03 11:02 AM
...and you want to be very lazy about it then you might try using one of Epson's specialty papers in which you can tear off a microperforated bottom to give a borderless print. Most Epson printers can print right up to the edges of the paper except at the bottom, where they need something to grab onto to feed the paper. (Or if you are less lazy you can print on any old paper and trim the bottom with a paper cutter, which is much, much cheaper. If you have the paper cutter, you can also trim the top and sides as well.)
If you don't mind cheating a little bit, you can print with a 1/2" margin all around, which looks very nice at most any size. To do this, choose maximum print area, and center the photo. For letter-size prints, 7.5x10" fits the bill. As others here have mentioned, the last 1/4" of the print is slightly lower resolution than the rest of the print, but in most cases is not noticeable. The main risk of printing this close to the end is that the paper has to feed very, very flat. If it curls even slightly, the inkjet heads will nick the corners and leave an ink smudge, usually black.
If you are framing prints, the borders don't matter, and it's just as well to print on oversise stock and matte out the borders.
#6. "RE: Printable Area: What's the Deal?" | In response to Reply # 4BJNicholls Charter MemberFri 18-Apr-03 12:05 PM
If you use the Photoshop print preview, it will show you the live area dimensions if you check "fit to page" - at least it will show you the max for whichever image dimension is longest. By working the size controls, you can decipher the live area dimensions both axes.
You could also look into using roll paper and define your own page sizes. This is useful for me since I run extra long panoramic prints often. The drawback is the paper has a curl that's inconvenient to flatten out.
You could also try Qimage, which is Epson printer driver aware and it will let you set up multiple prints per page with a lot of flexibility and ease.