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How do I print long images or banners on roll paper in Mac OS X?

RELATES TO:

  • Printing long images or banners
  • EPSON Stylus Photo or Stylus Pro inkjet printers capable of printing on roll paper
  • Mac OS X

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Explanation

Solution

EXPLANATION:


Many Epson Stylus Photo and Stylus Pro inkjet printers enable you to print long or panoramic images on roll paper using custom paper sizes. This feature is called banner printing.

This article explains how to perform banner printing in Mac OS X using a standard Epson printer driver, and includes two detailed examples.

SOLUTION:


Banner printing methods

There are two main methods for printing long images on roll paper: the one piece method and the tiling method. A third alternative is to use a software RIP. You should choose the method most appropriate to your printer's capabilities and the size of the images that you want to print.


Printing a long image using the "One piece" method

This is the simplest of the two methods. The image is processed and printed 'as is' without needing to be split into parts. This method uses the following workflow:

  1. Open your long image in the application from which you want to print, for example Adobe Photoshop®.

  2. In the Epson printer driver, select a page size format that corresponds to the dimensions of your image. If necessary, create a custom page size.

  3. Print the image from your application.

Note:
Limitations

With this method, the maximum printable image length depends on your printer driver, print settings, operating system and the application from which you print, details on these limitations can be found in the following related article: What's the maximum image length allowed when printing a banner or long image on roll paper?.


Printing a long image using the Tiling method

The tiling method allows you to print images that would otherwise exceed the maximum printing length of your printer driver. Tiling divides your long image into multiple pieces or tiles which can then be printed as a single page using the banner function of the driver.

Tiling requires an application that can manage tiling functions, such as Adobe Illustrator®, Adobe InDesign®, Adobe Acrobat®, Quark XPress®, CorelDRAW®, and others.

Note:

Adobe Photoshop® does not support tiling, and therefore you cannot use this method in that application.


Tiling uses the following workflow:

  1. Open your long image in the application from which you want to print.

  2. Activate the tiling function in the application.

  3. In the Epson printer driver, create a page size format to define the dimensions of the tiles.

  4. Print the image from your application.


Note:
Limitations

With this method, the maximum printable image length depends solely on the limitations of the application you use to print, and system resources such as RAM.


Printing using a RIP

Printing via a RIP does not use the Epson printer driver, and as a result you can exceed limitations that would otherwise apply.  Information on RIPs is available from individual vendors.


Banner printing examples


1 Piece Method

Expand the section below for a detailed example using Mac OS X 10.5 and Adobe Photoshop® CS4.




    These instructions apply to the Epson printer driver only. If you are using a Gutenprint driver, we recommend installing the Epson driver instead. (For information on how to check which type of driver you have installed in Mac OS X 10.5, see this article.)

    This example uses the Stylus Pro 7880 as the printer, and 21cm x 110cm (or 8.27" x 43.31") as the banner size.

    1. Open your image in Photoshop.

    2. Resize the image to match the size of the banner you want to print. Ensure that the image is correctly oriented as a portrait print, i.e. so that the narrow edge of the image is at the top of the page.


      Note:

      If the image is sent to the printer in landscape mode ('wide edge first'), you may encounter the following errors:

      • The image will print with a 90 degree error in orientation compared to the direction of the paper. The image will preview in landscape orientation.

      • If the image is set to print narrow edge first but the paper size is incorrect, e.g. 110cm width x 21cm height, then the image will print with the correct orientation but will only print to A3 or A4 height as the printer will not understand the instructions. The image may also print from the bottom as opposed to the top. The image will preview in portrait orientation.


    3. Click on File > Print. On the following screen, ensure that the correct printer is shown and then click on Page Setup to set the paper size for your banner:


    4. Ensure that Format for is set to your printer, then click on Paper Size:


    5. Select a pre-defined paper size from the list that matches the banner you wish to print, e.g. A3+ Roll Paper - Borderless Banner. If there is no appropriate selection, click on Manage Custom Sizes to create a custom paper size.

      To do this, set the required Width and Height, and set all the margins to zero. Name the paper size appropriately, then click OK.

      Example: a custom page size of 21cm x 110cm (8.27" x 43.31")


      Next, select the paper size you've created from the Paper Size list:


    6. Click OK to return to the print screen. The preview should now show your image formatted as a banner, as in the example below:

      If necessary, enable Scale to Fit Media to make your image better fit the format of your banner.


    7. Now click on the Print... button to start setting up your print job. From the Copies & Pages menu, choose Print Settings and then select the appropriate format in Page Setup, such as Roll Paper - Banner or Roll Paper - Borderless Banner.


      Here you can also select the Media Type on which you are going to print, and make any desired print quality settings.


    8. Click on Print Settings, and select Roll Paper Option. Enable Save Roll Paper if you wish to stop the printer from ejecting roll paper at the end of the print job:


      Note:

      If you are using a Stylus Pro printer equipped with an auto cutter, you can choose a cutting method from the Auto Cut menu. Please note that you should never use the auto cutter on the following media types:

      • Canvas, Heavyweight Polyester Banner, Adhesive Vinyl, Backlight Film, Smooth Fine-Art Paper, Textured Fine-Art Paper or Poster Board.

      Doing so may damage your cutter, and lead to an accumulation of paper dust in your printer which may impair print quality. Please refer to your user guide for more information on media handling and using the auto cutter.


    9. Finally, click on the Print button to print your banner.

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Tiling method

Expand the section below for a detailed example using Adobe Illustrator CS4 in Mac OS X 10.5.




    This example uses the Stylus Pro 9880 to demonstrate how to print a 111cm x 400cm image on 44" (111.8cm) width roll paper.

    1. Create the document.

      Start Adobe Illustrator, and create a new document.  The dimensions should be the size of the banner you wish to print:


      Place the image that you want to print onto this document:


    2. Activate the tiling function.

      Click on File then Print, and under Options select Tile and Full Pages. This will activate the tiling feature:



      The preview window will show your image divided into tiles. The number of tiles depends on the page size defined in the Page Setup menu.


    3. Configure Page Setup.

      Click on the Page Setup button, and select your printer from the Format for pull-down menu.  Next, you need to select or create a paper size for the tiles. Either select an appropriate, pre-defined paper size from the Paper Size list, or access the Manage Custom Sizes menu to create a custom paper size.

      In this example, we have created a new paper size the same width as the image, but 1/4 of the height (1m or 39.37").  This will split the image into four equal tiles:

      Note:

      As in the example above, if you create a custom paper size ensure that you set the margins to zero.


      Click OK once complete.


    4. Printer Setup.

      Click on the "Printer…" button to open the printer driver's settings menu. Here you can set up any required printing options, such as media type, quality and colour.

      From the Copies & Pages menu, click on Print Settings and then select Roll Paper - Banner or Roll Paper – Borderless Banner from the Page Setup list box. This will activate the banner printing function:



      From the Copies & Pages menu again, select Roll Paper Option and then enable the Save Roll Paper function if you wish to stop the printer from ejecting roll paper at the end of the print job.



      Note:

      If you are using a Stylus Pro printer equipped with an auto cutter, you can choose a cutting method from the Auto Cut menu. Please note that you should never use the auto cutter on the following media types:

      • Canvas, Heavyweight Polyester Banner, Adhesive Vinyl, Backlight Film, Smooth Fine-Art Paper, Textured Fine-Art Paper or Poster Board.

      Doing so may damage your cutter, and lead to an accumulation of paper dust in your printer which may impair print quality. Please refer to your user guide for more information on media handling and using the auto cutter.


    5. Previewing the image.

      To avoid wasting paper, if necessary you can use the Placement function to adjust the position of the printable area:



      You can also click and drag the preview of the image to move it.  Once complete, you can print the image.

      In our example, you can see that the image will be printed in 4 parts of 1 meter each.



    6. Printing the document.

      Click the Print button to print your banner. The banner print setting will ensure that the printer does not feed paper after each tile, and Illustrator will therefore output the tiles as a single continuous image.

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