An Overview of Printing

Aperture allows you to print your photos as high-resolution images and multi-image contact sheets. You can also print books and Light Table arrangements created in Aperture. Aperture offers a variety of printing options, including using a standard, roll, or custom paper size and assigning a specific ColorSync profile.

The easiest way to print images is to use one of the Aperture print presets. Print presets, or groups of print settings, allow you to print your images without having to repeatedly change your settings or remember settings used in specific situations. If the preconfigured presets don’t meet your needs, you can create your own.

For example, if you regularly print both 8-by-10-inch and 11-by-14-inch photographs, you can create a print preset for each of those paper sizes. For photographers with multiple printers, such as a standard and wide-format inkjet printer, you can create print presets for each printer. Give each preset a name you’ll remember, and the next time you need to print, simply select the print preset that corresponds to your paper size or printer type.

You can create new print presets, modify existing print presets, and delete print presets you no longer use. When changing your print presets, remember that modifying an existing preset changes its original settings; creating a new preset, on the other hand, allows you to preserve the settings in the existing preset. For more information about working with print presets, see Creating and Modifying Print Presets.

Before you print your images, you can soft proof them onscreen using the onscreen proofing feature. Profiles used for onscreen proofing are also applied to the image when printed. For more information about onscreen proofing, see Setting Up the Viewer for Onscreen Proofing.

Printing Tips

Here are a few suggestions to help you with the printing process:

  • Use the highest-resolution image possible: It’s preferable to work with images imported directly from your digital camera. However, even images imported directly from your camera or card reader can be low-resolution, low-quality images. This is why it’s important to shoot with the highest-resolution settings available on your camera. Compression settings applied during image capture may be apparent when you print. Consider shooting RAW files if the setting is available, and shoot at the highest bit depth possible.

    If you’ve imported an image that was reduced or compressed in another application, Aperture cannot increase the resolution of the file. In other words, Aperture cannot replace image information that was previously removed during the compression process. If possible, locate the original full-resolution image file, use the Lift and Stamp tools to apply the adjustments you’ve made to the low-resolution file, and print the higher-resolution image file.

  • Use a printer that supports 16-bit printing: If the image you’re printing is a high-resolution 16-bit file, using a printer that supports 16-bit printing results in smoother gradations.
  • Color calibrate your Aperture system: It’s important to calibrate your display and printer so that your printed images look as much as possible like the images you see on the computer screen. For more information about color calibrating your Aperture system, see Calibrating Your Aperture System.