Epson's 2880dpi letter-size photo printer delivers *quality* prints, with BorderFree option, at an incredible price!
Page 6: Computer Drivers Menu
Review First Posted: 7/19/2001
MSRP $129 US
Computer Driver Menus
Note: The print drivers for the 780 are essentially identical to those for
the 785EPX, which we've already reviewed.
They're repeated here though, for convenience.
Launching the printer setup utility displays this set of tab-based menu screens.
The first is the Main menu, which allows you to set the basic printer parameters,
including the type of paper to be printed on, the ink color, and the printing
mode. Under the Media Type pulldown menu, you can specify the type of media
you'd like to print to. A wide variety of paper choices are available, and are
categorized into groups, including Plain Paper, 360 dpi Ink Jet Paper, Photo
Quality Ink Jet Paper, Matte Paper-Heavyweight, Photo Paper, Premium Glossy
Photo Paper, Photo Quality Glossy Film, and Ink Jet Transparencies.
Below the Media Type menu is the Ink selection box, which specifies which ink
cartridge will be used, Color or Black.
The Mode selection box establishes how much control you have over the actual
printing, with three modes available to choose from:
Automatic mode places the printer in control of the print quality and speed
settings, based on the current Media Type and Ink selections. Depending on the
Media Type selected, a slider bar appears under the "Custom" setting,
listing Quality and Speed. You move the slider bar to the position that's most
important. The printer will optimize the print job depending on which value
is selected, Quality or Speed.
This mode provides a range of preset image corrections to choose from, depending
on the type of image being printed. Choices are Standard, People, Nature, Soft
Focus, and Sepia. The Digital Camera Correction checkbox appears under the correction
type, which smoothes lines and contours in images shot with digital cameras,
eliminating some artifacts and "jaggies." Photo Enhance mode is only
selectable when printing in 8-, 16-, 24-, or 32-bit color mode, and is not recommended
for use when the Roll Paper media type is selected, as gaps may appear in the
Custom: The final mode available is Custom, which allows you to set
more specific settings. Under the Custom Settings list, you can select Economy,
ICM, or sRGB. Economy mode is best for printing text, as it makes minimal adjustments
and prints at a slightly lower quality setting. "ICM" matches the
color of the printout to match the monitor currently in use, and "sRGB"
matches the color of the printer to other sRGB devices. Clicking the Advanced
button pulls up a dialog box for making further adjustments:
The Advanced adjustments include a variety of specialized settings, expanding
color management options, as well as providing more control over image attributes
and quality settings. At the top left of the dialog box are the Media Type and
Ink selection tools, which provide the same options as on the Main menu page.
The Print Quality pulldown menu offers a variety of quality settings, allowing
you to select the one that best matches the use of your printout. Below the
Print Quality setting, a variety of controls set options for printing speed,
image orientation, detail, and smoothing edges in low-resolution originals.
On the opposite side of the dialog box, a handful of color management options
make more fine-tuned adjustments.
If Color Controls is selected, you can adjust the cyan, magenta, and yellow
values individually, as well as the brightness, contrast, and saturation. The
"Mode" option lets you select between Photo-Realistic or "Vivid"
rendering, or "Automatic" as shown above. You'd used "Vivid"
for business graphics where you want the brightest colors, while Photo-Realistic
would be for photo printing (no surprise there). We ended up just leaving this
option set to Automatic for all our prints and they looked just fine. Once you've
made your selections, you can save them to apply to other images via the Save
Settings button. This is particularly useful for batch processing.
If you select the "PhotoEnhance" option in the color management controls,
you'll get options for setting tone (think "contrast") and a variety
of effects, including Sharpness, Soft Focus, Canvas, or Parchment. (The last
two overlay a texture on whatever subject you're printing, making it look like
it was printed on canvas or parchment.) Buried at the bottom of this panel is
one of the most significant aspects of the 780. The box marked "Digital
Camera Correction" enables Epson's PRINT Image Matching for files that
came from cameras supporting that technology. PRINT Image Matching improves
color handling in digicam files. It's most visible in certain bright blues and
greens, but the most common benefit will be greatly improved skin tones. Very
Serious color gurus will be pleased by Epson's support for ICC color profiles.
On the Mac, if you have a custom profile made for the 780, it'd just appear
in the pulldown labeled "Profile" above. On the PC, there are actually
two separate options here, one for simply selecting the ubiquitous (and awful)
sRGB color space, the other for selecting ICM color profiles the name for ICC
profiles under Windows.
The remaining tools available on the Main menu page are the Ink Levels and
Print Preview utilities. Ink Levels simply shows you the current amount of ink
available in each cartridge. Clicking on the Print Preview checkbox and then
the OK button pulls up a preview screen, allowing you to review the image before
printing it. You can always go back to make changes.
The next tab in the printer setup utility is the Paper menu, which establishes
all of the paper attributes. The Paper Source pulldown menu specifies where
the printer is pulling paper from, either the Sheet Feeder or Roll Paper. Click
the No Margins checkbox to enable borderless printing. With this option checked,
you want to set the image size in your software to be just slightly larger than
the paper size you're printing on. In this mode, the printer can cleverly print
right up to all four edges of the paper, but the print times nearly double as
The Paper Size pulldown menu selects the actual size of the paper being printed
on, and includes a Custom option for adding any special paper sizes not listed.
Under the Copies selection box, you can set the number of copies, as well as
whether or not multiple-page prints are collated or printed in reverse order.
Orientation offers the standard Portrait and Landscape options, as well as an
option for rotating the image 180 degrees. The final selection is the Printable
Area, which designates where the printer will print the image on the page. The
Maximum setting instructs the printer to fill the entire printable area.
The Layout menu page offers slightly more control over where the image will
actually print on the media. Clicking on the Reduce/Enlarge checkbox activates
the options beneath it, which include Fit to Page and Custom. The Custom setting
lets you define your own paper sizes, including the defined printable areas.
The Multi-Page selection lets you choose the layout for printing multiple images.
The N-up option prints either two or four images to a page, while the Poster
option enlarges a single image to print on 4, 9, or 16 pages.
Clicking on the Settings button when Poster is selected allows you to establish
the order of how the enlarged image will print. The Print Cutting Guides checkbox
enables you to print alignment marks or trim lines to help you line up and cut
out the image for assembly. (This is a pretty slick option - Only a few years
back, you had to pay a lot of extra money for software that would let you "tile"
images across multiple pages like this.)
The final option on the Layout menu page is the Watermark option, which allows
you to place a customized watermark over the printed image. Watermarks can be
made up of text or images. (Handy for automatically imprinting copyright information
on your prints, without having to modify the original images to do so!)
Once you've selected or created a watermark, the Settings button becomes active
on the Layout menu page. Clicking it pulls up the Watermark Settings dialog
box, which controls watermark attributes such as color, font, rotation, position,
size, and density.
The Utility menu page features six utility buttons for general printer maintenance.
Epson Status Monitor 3: Reports current printer status, such as ink
level, and details any printer errors.
Nozzle Check: Determines whether or not the print nozzles are clogged.
Head Cleaning: Cleans the print head, clearing any clogged nozzles.
Print Head Alignment: Realigns the print head.
Printer and Option Information: Displays the printer configuration,
allowing you to make any adjustments.
Speed & Progress: Controls printing speed for multiple copies,
as well as sets preferences for error notifications and progress monitoring.