User Guide - PrinTao 8

User Guide - PrinTao 8
PrinTao 8
Effortless Professional Printing
User Guide
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
Table of Contents
The guide includes the following sections:
• Installation & First Program Start
• Creating a new Document
• Main Window
• Mediathek
• Tool Palettes
• Template
• Page overview
• Image properties
• Cell properties
• Print
• Central working area
• Editing an image cell
• Editing an image
• Cropping an image
• Rotating and flipping an image
• Cutting options for roll paper
• Horizontal Toolbar
• Preferences
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
Manual for Printing with PrinTao 8
Installation & First Program Start
After downloading PrinTao 8, the disk image is opened
with a double click. Using the mouse, the program icon
can be drawn to the application folder alias. This action
moves it to the application folder. Starting PrinTao 8 for
the first time, the user license agreement will show up.
Having agreed, PrinTao 8 can be unlocked for the appropriate printer models using a purchased license file. This
file will downloaded and installed automatically directly
with the purchase. In addition, the license file will be
sent per email for later usage. For manual installation,
the license file having a .printao8_lic file extension is
registered with a double click or by simply dragging it
with the mouse onto the provided box in the welcome
screen. Alternatively, it can be dropped right onto the
program icon in the taskbar. PrinTao 8 now installs the
license file and enables to setup the appropriate printer
Install additional Licenses
Licenses for additional printer classes can be purchased
and installed directly from within PrinTao 8. Therefore,
the PrinTao 8 top menu features an entry Buy new
license… . Clicking it opens a new window to select
and purchase a new license. After purchasing, PrinTao 8
automatically installs the new license and unlocks the
additional printer models. For later use, the license file is
also sent via email.
Install Printers
PrinTao 8 detects all printers, which are switched on and
connected with the local network. It shows just those,
which are included with installed licenses. By clicking
on the green Install printer (1) button, PrinTao 8 downloads and installs actual printer drivers for the selected
printer model and corresponding paper profiles from
the printer manufacturer from the web. It is not necessary to enter the IP address manually, any further setup
is done by PrinTao.
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
Creating a new Document
A new document has to be created before the actual
work with PrinTao 8 can start. Therefore, a clearly
structured dialog is guiding the user through the
process of selecting printer (1), paper type (2), print
quality (3), and paper source (4) as well as the print
media size (5). For convenience, PrinTao 8 shows only
the actually available options: For example, just those
quality options can be selected, which are supported
by the printer. Likewise, PrinTao 8 offers only those
paper types and sizes, which are available for the
respective printer. The list of available paper types will
be updated automatically.
PrinTao 8 remembers the settings used for creating the
former document. These settings can be restored for
the new document by clicking on Use last settings. If
desired, changes to the restored settings can be made
at this point, before clicking on the Create button, which
opens the new document window with its central working area.
Main Window
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
The main window of PrinTao 8 is basically sectioned into
five areas: The Mediathek (1), which optionally displays
Metadata (2) for the image selected at the workspace
or Mediathek. Furthermore a horizontal toolbar (3)
above, some tool palettes (4) and the central working area (5). Within these areas the entire process from
selecting images, defining page layout to the final print
order will take place. It is not necessary to switch back
and forth between different program windows.
Images can be drawn from the Mediathek or the Finder
to the central working area using the mouse. Alternatively, a file browser for importing images will open
when clicking the Place button in the top horizontal
toolbar. If an image is dropped besides the print media,
PrinTao 8 will insert it at the end of the document. If it is
dropped between two image cells, it is inserted there
and all following image cell move one position back. An
image can be overwritten by dropping another image
exactly above an image cell. PrinTao 8 adds further page
to the document if needed. If a template is used, which
already contains image cells, images can be directly
drawn to any of these cells.
The easiest way to select images for printing is to use
the Mediathek dialog located in the left sidebar. Folders
containing images can be drawn to the folders area (1)
using the mouse. Orders drawn here, will stay available
permanently. In this easy way, the Mediathek can be
arranged to personal requirements. Right-clicking on a
folder opens a context menu, which allows to remove
this folder, to open it in the Finder, or to reload it.
Alternatively, images can be drawn directly from the
Finder to the PrinTao 8 window.
The content of A selected folder is shown in the lower
part of the Mediathek as a preview (2). This preview
can be displayed as thumbnails, list of file names or
thumbnails including details. A switch changes the
kind of preview display (3) and a slider adjusts the size
(4) of the thumbnails. Additionally, the text field works
as a filter for quick searching for an image name inside
the selected folder.
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
Images can be directly drawn with the mouse from the
preview window to PrinTao’s central working area. They
will be inserted to the document according to the selected template. Performing a double click on an image
inside the Mediathek, opens it with the default software
for this file type. Right-Clicking opens a context menu
offering further options and hitting the space bar key
opens the selected image with the OS X QuickLook
Tool Palettes
A sidebar with tool palettes is located at the central
working area’s right side. Clicking on a tool’s title bar
opens or closes this tool’s palette. By default, the
sidebar is preset to have only a single palette open at
once. This way, the sidebar will remain tidy and tedious
scrolling is unnecessary. By clicking on the padlock, a
palette will remain open (3) permanently. If the padlock
is locked, auto-closing the palette is prevented. The
gear wheel button (2) at the very top right of the right
sidebar opens a context menu to open and close
individual tool palettes. The complete sidebar can be
hidden (1) for a larger central working are by clicking
the double arrow button.
This tool palette contains a number of pre-defined
templates for layouting the print medium. It includes
templates for arranging the images on the medium in
grid patterns, templates for photographers, who want
to provide their customers with packages of images in
different standard sizes, as well as templates for free
placement of images and custom templates. Using a
drop-down menu (1) the templates displayed in this
dialog can be reduced to one of these groups.
A click on the arrow button at the top right displays
additional options (2) for an automatic image placement. If the option Crop to fit is checked, PrinTao 8
increases or decreases the image until the image cell is
completely filled – overlapping parts of the image are
cut off. A check at Rotate to fit ensures that images are
rotated at placement, if they would better fit into the
cell after rotation.
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
The template preview (3) shows all available pre-defined, free and custom templates. Templates which are
not applicable (4), because they do not fit within the selected paper size, are crossed out and not selectable. A
switch (5) changes the type of template preview display
between icons, list and list of icons with description.
The template can also be changed, if the document
already contains images. PrinTao 8 arranges all images
according to the new template and adds new pages to
the document if necessary. Doing this, an intelligent algorithm ensures to arrange all images on the print media as efficient as possible and thus ensures a minimal
paper usage. Large savings can be achieved particularly
when using a pack template.
Page overview
The Page overview palette is useful for navigating
through larger documents and for quickly gaining an
overview of all included images. Selecting a page in
the overview palette, opens this page in the general
working area. The status bar below the Page overview
window shows the number of pages and number of images included with this document.
If using a Free template, the status bar does also contain
buttons for adding new pages and for removing existing ones. For templates with fixed image cells, these
buttons are obsolete.
Image properties
This palette dialog allows to view and modify basic
properties of the image – not the image cell. These
properties are image position (1), resolution (2),
angle of rotation (3), image size (4) and horizontal or
vertical flipping (5). The values displayed will change
immediately, if the selected image is moved or scaled.
Numerical values can also be directly entered into the
text fields.
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
The background colors of the slider control indicate
whether the resolution is set optimally. Regularly, the
best print results can be achieved between 200 dpi and
400 dpi (green area). At lower resolutions (red area, image is too large), individual pixels may become visible
and higher resolutions (yellow area, image is too small)
can lead to artifacts due to scaling.
Cell properties
Similar to the image properties, this palette dialog
enables to view and modify the properties of an image
cell – not of the image itself. In addition to cell coordinates and cell size (1), also the angle of cell rotation
(2) can be adjusted. This angle is based on the orientation of the original image. The button next to the cell
angle parameter rotates a selected cell at 90° clockwise
around the center point of the cell. The drop-down
menu offers some standard cell sizes (3) to select.
The Print palette combines all settings relevant for
the actual print. The options regarding printer (1) and
paper (2) are set as these options have been set when
creating the document (see above at “Creating a new
Document”). All settings can be reviewed here and
adjusted again if necessary. The Finest Details option
improves the print impression of very fine, straight lines.
The drop-down menu for the rendering intent (3) offers a set of four rendering intents, which have been defined by the International Color Consortium (ICC): perceptually oriented, absolute colorimetric, relative colorimetric
and saturation preserving. Different color spaces of input
and output devices afford a color space conversion of
the print data to the printer’s color space. Depending
on the image content and the purpose – the rendering
intent – to be followed with the print, a different conversion algorithm will be used.
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
The perceptual rendering intent, also referred to as photographic rendering intent, compresses a larger source
color space into the printer’s color space. Relative
color differences are preserved with this compression,
resulting in an image impression, which is appealing to
the human eye. This rendering intent is well suited for
photographic printing.
For printing charts or images with a very limited color
palette, the saturation preserving rendering intent is
particularly suitable. Colors are rich and bright, but color
fidelity is not necessarily given.
A relative colorimetric rendering intent is correcting the
output data to the effect that all colors of the source
material, which can be represented by the combination
of printer and paper, will be colorimetrically correct.
Colors, which are outside the paper’s color space, will
be moved to its border (clipping, burning). This will be
no problem for offset color proofs printed on an inkjet
printer, because the inkjet printer’s color space is much
larger, so there will be nothing lost. Due to the fact that
the offset paper’s white tone will not be simulated, the
same offset paper should be used for the proof, a paper
with a very similar white tone at least. On many proof
systems, the relative colorimetric rendering intent is the
default preset. It is perfect for photographic printing,
when the color space of the output data lies completely
within the color space of the printer and paper. In this
case the output data can be reproduced completely
and the print is colorimetrically correct.
The absolute colorimetric rendering intent is also often
used for digital proofs. If the paper, used for the proof
print, is brighter than the paper, which will be used for
the later offset print, this rendering intent simulates the
offset paper’s white tone. Thus, the offset paper is not
necessarily required for proof printing.
Additional options set in the Print palette are crop
marks (4), which can be added to the images, and a
restriction of the pages to print (5) to a certain range.
A click on the print button (6) finally starts the actual
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
Central working area
The central working area shows the print media, on
which the images are placed and prepared for printing.
By selecting an image with a mouse click, a context
sensitive toolbar (2) appears. From left to right, it is
containing the following controls: Edit cell, edit image,
crop image, rotate image by 90°, mirror image and set cell
size. The lever in the middle of the cell is used to rotate
(1) the cell or the image respectively. Using a Free layout
template, image cells can be manually arranged, resized
and rotated by the user. The Grid and Pack templates, in
contrast, have fixed image cells.
Editing an image cell
The Edit cell mode (1) is used to resize, rotate and move
the complete image cell on the print media. Image quality effects of any resizing will be immediately indicated
by the background color of the slider control. An image
cell is resized, while maintaining its image’s proportions,
by moving its corner handles or its slider control. An
image cell is moved on the print media by dragging it
with the mouse. Any change in position and size can be
tracked in the Cell properties palette. The text fields can
be used to enter exact numerical values.
Editing an image
In edit image mode (2), the controls are very similar to
the controls in edit cell mode (1). The image cell is fixed
in position and the editing affects the image inside this
cell. In this case, moving the control slider resizes the
image inside the cell, while the cell size itself remains
the same. Again, the slider’s background color indicates
the print quality regarding image resolution.
Cropping an image
In crop image mode (3), the image is not resized when
resizing the cell, like it is in edit cell mode (1). Thus,
resizing the cell in crop image mode is used to crop the
image, while not changing the print quality. Like in edit
image mode (2), the image can be rotated and moved
inside the cell using the mouse in order to find the right
image detail.
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
Rotating and flipping an image
In edit cell mode (1), the rotate tool (4) rotates the cell
by 90° clockwise. In edit image mode(2) and in crop
image mode(3), it rotates the image inside the cell.
Holding down the [shift] key, results in a rotation by 90°
counterclockwise. The mirror tool (5) flips the image
horizontally. Holding down the [shift] key, results in a
vertically flipping.
Cutting options for roll paper
If the selected Paper Source is Roll, PrinTao 8 displays an
additional toolbar containing cutting options (1) right
above the central working area. This toolbar is used to
define, if and where the printer will cut the roll paper.
The option Single Cut adds a single cut mark at the end
of the document, while Cut after each row sets cut marks
just below every row of image cells. The option Borderless on both sides of the row in addition adds a cut mark
right above each row, resulting in a print of image cell
rows without top and bottom borders. User defined
cut marks are set using the Custom option. Using this
option, a single cut mark is per default placed below the
first row. It can be moved up or down, by moving the
cutter icon on the left or the cut line itself. A click on the
red circle icon on the right, adds a new cut mark (2). Cut
marks can also be added by right-clicking at the desired
location. Right-clicking on an existing cut mark will delete it. The option Don’t cut, will set no cut marks at all.
Horizontal toolbar
Important functionalities, which are also found at other
places, are gathered together in the horizontal toolbar,
for making them quickly available. The following three
features are of special interest:
PrinTao 8 Effortless Professional Printing
The Metadata (1) option allows to include image file
names and/ or creation dates with the print. If one of
these options is checked, this information will be added
to the lower left corner of each image cell.
Using the Zoom (3) buttons, the display size of the
central working area can be adjusted. The “Fit to
window” (4) options sets the zoom to a level, the whole
print media fits completely into the central working
area window. Zooming in and out step by step is done
using the magnifying glass buttons showing plus (7)
and minus (5) symbols, while the magnifying glass
button in the middle (6), sets the zoom to 100%.
The Media Manager (2) manages the profiles for all
installed or available papers. Reducing the Installed
papers to the set of papers, which are actually used,
could lead to a clearer arrangement for the Paper
drop-down menu in the Print palette. Checked papers
in the Installed papers tab are removed by clicking the
Uninstall button. Additional papers available for the
selected printer can be easily added in the Available
papers tab. Checked papers are added by clicking the
Install button. The Custom papers tab manages user
specified papers. For adding a custom paper, initially, a
Basic paper with similar properties should be selected.
User defined ICC profiles and the Advanced settings are
the next steps to Save a custom paper, which takes the
specific combination of printer and paper into account.
This selection of installed and custom papers is adjusted for each available printer separately. The printer is
selected in the left column.
The General tab defines, wether PrinTao 8 uses Inch or
Centimeter as measuring unit. An alignment help can be
activated in the Rulers tab. If the options Snap to object
center and Snap to object edges are checked, an image
cell will automatically snap into place, when moved
near to a center axis or edge of another cell. The color of
the alignment guides can be individually set. The Printer
tab allows to add or remove printer (see chapter “Install
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