Epson inkjet printers: Printer preset forgets settings

If you use an Epson Stylus Photo/Epson Stylus Pro printer in Mac OS X and you save printer settings as printer presets (a recommended practice), there may be times when you choose a preset and realize that some of the settings mysteriously deviate from the way you saved them. For example, you might swear that you saved the Printer Color Management setting as No Color Management, but it somehow turns itself back on when you apply a preset. Other symptoms are finding the wrong paper type or color settings selected. And even more mysteriously, you might notice that sometimes it does remember the same settings that it forgot on another occasion.

I don’t know if this applies to all printers in OS X, but presets for Epson photo printers are quite sensitive to the conditions under which they were created—and unexpectedly, this can include the state of settings that are outside the Print dialog itself. Pay particular attention to the settings in the Page Setup dialog box.

For example, I once discovered that reason my Epson 3800 printer presets would not remember my color settings was that the current paper source did not match the paper source that was in effect when I created the preset! I’ve had to make two versions of my favorite presets: One preset for when I’m using the automatic paper feeder, and another for when I’m using the manual feed slot. The settings saved in each preset are exactly the same; the only difference is which paper feed is selected when I save each preset. Of course, I have to mention the paper source in each preset’s name, so that I know which one to select.

I have not yet tested if this behavior is the same in Windows.

This interaction between paper source and printer presets is yet another reason to make sure you always check the Page Setup dialog box before you print, and especially before you print a Photoshop document for the first time. In Page Setup, the selected printer, paper size, and paper source affect what you get to do in the Print dialog box. If you don’t get Page Setup right from the beginning, you’re setting yourself up for confusion when you print.

Lightroom. If you’re trying to get Epson printer driver settings to stick in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on Mac OS X when you save a Lightroom printer preset, the trick is to not use the Epson printer driver presets. Instead, leave the printer preset set to Standard, make the printer driver settings,  and then save the Lightroom printer preset.