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How do I select the print resolution in the Windows printer software? What are the corresponding DPI values for each 'Quality Option'?

RELATES TO:

  • All Stylus inkjet printers
  • Print resolution, DPI values
  • Printer driver settings
  • Windows 95, 98, 98SE, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7

EXPLANATION:

Print resolution is the number of dots per inch (dpi) used to represent an image. Rather than selecting the print resolution in the driver, in the default mode of the printer driver you select one of the following types of documents; then the resolution is automatically selected depending on the paper type you choose to print on.



Quality option DPI value Tip Recommended use
Draft: 180 dpi Select for economical, high speed printing. For rough drafts with reduced print quality.
Text: 360 dpi Select for medium-quality, standard text printing. For text-only documents with higher text quality (we recommend this setting with a high quality plain bond paper).
Text & Image: 720 dpi Select for high-quality, text and graphics printing. For documents with text and images with higher quality (e.g. fliers, handouts, documents with block colours such as graphs).
Photo: 1440 dpi Select for high-quality, photographic printing. For photos and graphics with good quality and speed.
Best Photo: 2880 dpi Select for top-quality, photographic printing. For photos or graphics with high print quality.


Selecting the correct paper type and print quality

If the paper type settings in the printer driver are different from the paper actually loaded, the printer cannot control the amount of ink used properly. This will cause the ink to run and tones will not be smooth, resulting in poor print quality. In addition, if you use non-genuine paper, the same problems may arise.

It is also important to select a suitable print resolution for the paper you are printing to. If you select a print quality (resolution) that is too low it could result in gaps in the print; similarly if you select a print quality/resolution which is too high for the paper (such as selecting "Best Photo" for a plain paper type), it could result in blurry prints or over-saturated paper.

 
Using the Advanced mode of the driver

In the Advanced mode of the driver, some of the print quality options are named differently. The driver will automatically select a quality option supported by the paper type that you select, depending on its specifications.

The driver will also limit the print resolution selection to one appropriate for the Media Type setting you have selected. This helps to ensure that only a suitable print resolution is selected, rather than one that is too low (which could result in gaps in the print) or too high (which could result in blurry prints or satured paper).

Refer to the table below for print quality options and the corresponding DPI (dots per inch) values.



Quality option DPI value Tip Recommended use
Economy 180 dpi Select for economical, high speed printing. For rough drafts with reduced print quality.
Draft
Normal 360 dpi Select for medium-quality, standard text printing. For text-only documents with higher text quality (we recommend this setting with a high quality plain bond paper)
Fine 720 dpi Select for high-quality, text and graphics printing. For documents with text and images with higher quality (e.g. fliers, handouts, documents with block colours such as graphs).
Photo 1440 dpi Select for high-quality, photographic printing. For photos and graphics with good quality and speed.
Best Photo 2880 dpi Select for top-quality, photographic printing. For photos or graphics with high print quality.
Photo RPM 5760 dpi* Select for the highest and best print quality, photographic printing For exceptional print tasks where image quality is the primary consideration. Note that printing will take longer in this mode.

*Depending on your printer model, this is either "5760 x 720" or "5760 x 1440" optimised dpi, available on suitable media using RPM (Resolution Performance Management)



To enter the Advanced mode of the driver, do the following:

  1. Open Printing Preferences and make sure the driver dialog box is open on the Main tab.

  2. Click on the Advanced tab or button.

    Note:

    For some drivers you will first need to click into the circle beside Custom and then choose Advanced from the drop-down menu. With this style of driver you will find that in most cases the DPI value is stated beside the print quality option.

  3. In the Print Quality & Paper Options menu, check and select your settings as appropriate.

    • source (for some printers you will have more than one option here which represents the different media print paths of your printer)
    • media type (select the specific paper type that you will print to)
    • print quality (the options available here depend on your paper/media selection - see the table above for corresponding DPI values)
    • paper size (select the specific size of the paper that you will print to)

  4. Check any other settings such as the High Speed selection (this is on by default but we recommend deselecting it for best prints) and the Color Management selection.

Note for Stylus Photo R2880 users:

The printer driver for your product has a different layout, but by default the driver will automatically select the optimum print quality setting for your selected media type.

You can also specify a suitable print resolution by in the Quality Options dialog box. To access this, select Quality Options from the drop-down menu beside Print Quality. Here you can change the quality level and view the setting information in the Print Quality field.

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