LaserSoft’s SilverFast PrinTao; Is This “The Path” To Easy, Efficient, And Flexible Photo Printing? Page 2

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The next and final step using SilverFast PrinTao is to click on the Print button.

The Templates tab functions included with PrinTao provide many ready-made image and text frame arrangements, all of which can be customized. In addition to the maximum ready-made template I used for this contact sheet, at the bottom of the window dialog is a way to define a higher number of image frames and specify the space between them and generate a new template. A user can save this new template in the Custom folder for future use.

This will bring up the driver window for your printer. There are some differences between the Apple Mac and Windows driver window arrangements, but primarily you select your media type and the quality, and then click on Color Management and select "No Color Adjustment."

If you have chosen not to make color managed prints and have selected sRGB or Adobe RGB (1998) as the Printer Profile, then after selecting your media type and quality, select from the available options of your printer's color adjustment options.

This selection will vary, with only one choice with some printers and several choices of output with other brands, models, and types of printers.

Multi Image And Text Add Options
Users of SilverFast PrinTao are not limited to printing just one image on a page. You can add as many images as their size on the page allows. There are a number of pre-configured templates available. Then just open an image in each frame of the template. You are also free to use drag and drop to re-arrange the position placement of the images and also re-size the images, making some larger and some smaller, whatever your needs dictate. Once done you can, after removing the images, save the arrangement as a custom template if you think it will be needed again.

Some of the pre-configured templates include text boxes associated with the image frames. You can also manually add one or more text boxes to the Preview window in which you can type or paste in text, choose different fonts, and also choose different colors for the fonts. A text box of any size can be drawn in the Preview window by clicking on the "T" icon that turns the mouse cursor to a cross that allows drawing a box for text. Double-clicking within a text box opens a text editing window and a text control window pops out from the side of the Preview window frame. (Windows will place a text control bar in the top of the Preview window frame.) There is even a provision for editing a copyright notice that can be placed next to a photograph or, if desired, overlain, so the notice is embedded in the image when printed.

SilverFast PrinTao also supports multiple pages, indicated by page symbols at the top of the Preview frame, with a plus and minus click button in the far right corner to add or subtract pages. This feature essentially supports batch-process printing.

The flexibility of the PrinTao Preview page space allows for a wide range of configurations of images and text to produce all kinds of printed pages. Even a many paged booklet can be designed and executed, and even saved as a digital document file for future use--all simply and effortlessly.

Evaluation And Recommendation
After using SilverFast PrinTao for a number of weeks it became my first choice for printing. Being a limited function, thus a small application, it loads quickly. Opening files for printing is faster because the print size I will be using is usually smaller than the full file size, taking less time. When using the same printer and page size, PrinTao remembers the last print made and fewer entries are needed before clicking the Print button. All this means that if you are pressed for time, PrinTao is the choice to make prints. I even find it's an easier and faster way to produce prints of "contact sheets" from image folder files stored on CD-Rs than using Photoshop's automated function to generate a contact sheet.

I also think that for most photographers the program's simple, upfront control setting for selecting profiles and rendering intent will make color managed print matching easier and simpler to execute. What I did not expect was how SilverFast PrinTao seems to be more precise in generating the data it sends to the printer. Using it I experienced fewer print anomalies, apparent profile malfunctions, and better overall print quality. I can recommend LaserSoft's SilverFast PrinTao as a great value, particularly at its download price of $49.

But you don't have to take my word for it. You can download and try it out before paying the fee by going to www.silverfast.com.

For more information, contact LaserSoft Imaging, Inc. at 3212 Gulf Gate Dr., Unit B, Sarasota, FL 34231.

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