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You CAN print directly from Illustrator


Over the past few months I've noticed occasional questions about printing
PostScript files such as those created in Illustrator, and answers
involving Postscript RIPs.  I haven't used Illustrator for such a long time
that I just assumed it wouldn't print to a non-PostScript printer such as
our beloved Epson inkjets without first running the images through a raster
image processor (RIP), or converting to PDF and printing from Acrobat, etc.

Well, my mom has been asking for advice about printers and popped the
question about printing Illustrator files on Epsons.  So I pulled out my
3-year old copy of Illustrator 6.0 for the Macintosh, read the manual, did
some test prints on my Epson 1200, and lo and behold I got some perfectly
lovely prints; with sharp edges, smooth gradients, and perfect-looking
type.  The only thing I had to do to get good dithering was to go to the
Document Setup dialog and ask Illustrator NOT to screen the images before
sending them to the printer.  The manual also points out that a built-in
feature allows me to save any Illustrator file as a fully rasterized TIFF
file at any resolution I want.  The TIFF file can then be opened by
Photoshop for filtering, color manipulation and printing.  I assume that
current versions of Illustrator still have these features.

Now I don't disbelieve those who say that you can get much greater control
over tone curves, etc. using a RIP, but apparently you don't HAVE to have
one to print Illustrator documents to an Epson inkjet. This clears up a
misconception I had, and I thought some on the list would be interested in
this discovery.


Bill Fernandez
User Interface Architect
Bill Fernandez Design

PHONE (505) 346-3080
FAX   (505) 346-3090
EMAIL bill@billfernandez.com
WEB   http://www.billfernandez.com
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