Printing Changes in Photoshop CS3
Adobe did some serious rearranging of controls in the printing dialog for Photoshop CS3. At first glance, it may appear to all be cosmetic in nature, but there are some significant changes you should be aware of.
The first change you are likely to notice is that there no longer is a "Print with Preview" option at all. Recognizing that no one in their right mind was using the old fashioned "Print" option in CS2 (the one without the preview), Adobe did away with it and renamed "Print with Preview" to simply "Print." To be sure, this is much simpler and less confusing than having both. "Print One Copy" and "Page Setup" both still exist, but the only menu option most users really need now is "Print."
When you open the "Print" dialog now, you no longer need to select "More Options" to get at everything. The dialog is fully expanded all the time now and defaults to showing the Color Management options. Items within the window seem more logically arranged now than in the past with more of a left-to-right flow than the previous fit-everything-in-the-window-where-it-fits approach. The preview image itself has been enlarged too. As another nice touch, you can now select which printer you want to print to as well as switch between portrait and landscape page orientation directly in the Print dialog window. As in the past, you can still get to "Page Setup" from the print dialog, but at least now you won't need to as often. Thoughtful changes such as these make it clear that Adobe engineers really do care about the usability of their products.
But it's not all simpler, more thoughtful and less confusing, at least for Windows users.
The first change that may catch some Windows users off guard is that page setup options are now handled on a document specific basis. It already worked this way on the Mac OS side, but in previous versions of Photoshop for Windows, changing page setup options affected how all open documents would print. If you were working on two images at the same time in CS2, changing from portrait to landscape in "Page Setup" in order to print one would affect how the other printed and vice versa. In CS3, page setup options for each open document are completely independent of those for other documents so you'll need to switch to landscape for both if both are supposed to print that way. Of course, if only one image should, you won't have to switch back to portrait orientation to print the other. Admittedly this is how things should have been all along, but Windows users long ago got used to this quirk and accepted it as the way things were.
While working on all these changes to how Photoshop interacts with printer drivers, Adobe made another change that may just catch a number of Windows users unaware. You may have already encountered this; you may not yet have had occasion to notice, but centering images on a page works differently now. In previous versions for Windows, Photoshop automatically told your printer to set its margins to zero when you centered an image in "Print with Preview." If the centered image wouldn't actually fit within the narrowest margins the printer would actually support, Adobe relied on the print driver to correct the margins and complain. Thus, centering an image meant centering it on the page so long as that was possible. In CS3 though, Adobe decided it was better off leaving all this margin stuff to the printer driver. They no longer include code to attempt to force the driver to minimize its margins so if you don't do it in the driver yourself, you end up merely centering the image in the printable portion of the page. By default, Epson printers have a bigger bottom margin than they do top margin, so centering can end up looking decidedly uncentered unless you take steps to correct things.
To fix centering, just go into your printer driver and either manually set the top and bottom margins equally or simply click on "centered," "borderless" or other similar choice. Different printers use different ways to control things, but so long as you pick whatever your driver wants you to for this you should be fine. If you save this as part of the settings you normally use, you won't have to think about it anymore and centering will go back to being what you thought it was.
You may be wondering why they did this when in most other ways Adobe continues to make things easier rather harder. The problem is, forcing the margins to zero the way they used to apparently won't work on Vista, so something had to change. The Mac OS version already made users set the margins themselves, and Adobe has been trying synchronize things between platforms, so guess what they decided to do?
There are a few other printing changes related to color management, but I'll save them for next week.