You can use Draft Mode Printing to print contact sheets and quick drafts of a photo. In this mode, Lightroom uses cached photo previews when printing. If you select photos that haven’t been fully cached and print them using Draft Mode Printing, Lightroom sends their thumbnail data to the printer, and the print quality of those photos might not be what you expect. Sharpening and color management controls aren’t available using Draft Mode Printing.
Specify options in the Print Job panel
You can save photos as JPEG files in the Print module for sharing with a print service provider. When you print to JPEG, Lightroom lets you choose a resolution, apply print sharpening, and set the compression quality. You can also specify dimensions of the file and apply an RGB ICC profile and a rendering intent.
In the Print module, the Print Resolution setting specifies the pixels per inch (ppi) of the photo for the printer. Lightroom resamples the image data if needed, depending on the print resolution and the print dimensions. The default value of 240 ppi is satisfactory for most print jobs, including high-end inkjet prints. Refer to your printer’s documentation to determine its optimal resolution.
Print Sharpening lets you sharpen the image before it’s sent to the printer. Print sharpening is performed in addition to any sharpening that you apply in the Develop module. The amount of print sharpening that is automatically applied is based on the file’s output resolution and the output media. When Draft Mode Printing is enabled, Print Sharpening is disabled. In most cases, you can leave Print Sharpening set to its default option, Low.
(Optional) Select Print Sharpening and specify Low, Standard, or High sharpening using the pop-up menu on the right. Then, specify whether you are printing to Matte or Glossy media. Matte includes watercolor, canvas, and other nonshiny types of paper. Glossy includes luster, semigloss, photo gloss, and other shiny types of paper.
The paper type specified in the Print Job panel is used to calculate print sharpening. Some printer drivers may also include a paper type option in the Print dialog box that must be specified separately.
You can specify whether Lightroom or the printer driver handles color management during printing. If you want to use a custom printer color profile created for a specific printer and paper combination, Lightroom handles the color management. Otherwise, the printer manages it. If Draft Mode Printing is enabled, the printer automatically handles color management.
Custom printer color profiles are usually created using special devices and software that generate the profile files. If printer color profiles are not installed on your computer or if Lightroom cannot locate them, Managed By Printer and Other are the only options available in the Profile area of the Print Job panel.
- In the Color Management area of the Print Job panel, choose one of the following from the Profile pop-up menu:
To use a printer color profile to convert the image before sending it to the printer, choose a specific RGB profile listed in the menu.
If you choose a custom printer color profile in Lightroom, make sure color management is turned off in the printer driver software. Otherwise, your photos will be color-converted twice, and the colors might not print as you expect. See your printer’s documentation for instructions on turning off color management in the driver software. Lightroom does not recognize CMYK printer profiles.
- To send the image data to the printer driver without first converting the image according to a profile, choose Managed By Printer.
- To select printer profiles to appear in the Profile pop-up menu, choose Other and then select the color profiles in the Choose Profiles dialog box.
Generally, you’ll choose this option if no profiles are listed in the Profile pop-up menu, or if the profile you want isn’t listed. Lightroom tries to find custom print profiles on your computer. If it’s unable to locate any profiles, choose Managed By Printer and let the printer driver handle the print color managing.
- If you specify a profile, choose a rendering intent to specify how colors are converted from the image’s color space to the printer’s color space:
Perceptual rendering tries to preserve the visual relationship between colors. Colors that are in-gamut may change as out-of-gamut colors are shifted to reproducible colors. Perceptual rendering is a good choice when your image has many out-of gamut colors.
Relative rendering preserves all in-gamut colors and shifts out-of gamut colors to the closest reproducible color. The Relative option preserves more of the original color and is a good choice when you have few out-of-gamut colors.
The printer’s color space will generally be smaller then the image’s color space, often resulting in colors that can’t be reproduced. The rendering intent you choose attempts to compensate for these out-of-gamut colors.
(Optional) To achieve colors in print that more closely resemble the bright and saturated look of onscreen colors in Lightroom, select Print Adjustment. Then, drag the Brightness and Contrast sliders.
Dragging the Brightness and Contrast sliders produces tone curve adjustments. These adjustments do not preview onscreen. It may take some experimentation to determine what settings work best for your individual photos and your specific printer.
Save print settings as a print collection
When you save print settings as a print collection, you can add new photos to the collection and they automatically include the print settings. This is different from custom templates, which include the output options but no photos. A print collection applies the print settings to the photos in the collection.