Photoshop Elements: PSE 9 never prints to the specified size

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  • Updated 9 years ago
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Is this a bug? If so, I'd like to report it. I'm trying to print to a specific size for an order, call it X by Y (this is the reason I bought PSE9, as a new user - so that I could make prints to any size I needed, accurately).

I make the image size X by Y at a decent resolution.

I check it (ctl+alt-i) and it says the image is X by Y.

In the editor, I do ctl-P and set it to print at 'actual size', which it tells me is X by Y.

This all seems fine and logical. Then I print it - and it comes out a few millimetres off the specified size, apparently randomly. Sometimes it's the height, sometimes the width, sometimes both at once. It can be over or under the specified size, or one (but never both) measurements can be spot on.

I gave up on 'actual size' and tried 'custom size'.

I put in X by Y, PSE9 reduced it by .01 of a mm and 0.03 mm and I couldn't figure out why or make it stop. I went ahead with the print thinking 0.03mm wouldn't make a difference.

But the print came out 2mm and 3mm too big!

What on earth is happening? How can I specify a print size and get PSE9 to print that exact size?

And if there's no way round this, what's the point of photo-editing software that lets you specify a size but can't print to that size?

I'm printing on A3 paper, to a size just above A4, so nothing outlandish. And I'm using a Canon PIXMA iX6500 printer. That and PSE9 were presents from my other half, supposedly to make my life easier - now we're BOTH getting frustrated with this!
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Kate Molloy

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  • wasting time & money trying to get this to work

Posted 9 years ago

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Brett N, Official Rep

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I'm seeing the behavior you are talking about, but I think this has to do with pixel size. Since all pixels have to be the same size, even when printing, the math of the dimensions may not work out to what you have specified. So working with a DPI of 300 may not allow you to have dimensions of 210x297 (as an example). Also, if you are working with a DPI value, you may consider changing to a DPCM measurement (to avoid issues with Metric to Imperial conversion issues). I found that I was able to get a direct conversion (without decimal adjustments) by using 210x297 at 100 DPCM. Of course, that size will probably not work for you, but it's just an example where the math is more accurate.

Perhaps if you provided your exact dimensions I could work something out.

However, I'm not seeing the behavior of the print coming out larger than what was described in the dialogs. Perhaps more info will come to light after you have provided some more information.

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Kate Molloy

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Thanks for looking at this. I’ve run some test prints, and I think I’ve fixed the problem for A4 but not for A3 prints.

A4 print trials
As you suggested, I used 100pcm for the resolution, and created a file a little smaller than A4 (19x27.7cm). I tried it actual size, custom size and then a preset size, all borderless and with only the preset size cropped to fit. At first, they were too large by about 3mm in each direction.

I got it to come out correctly when I discovered something in the Canon printer driver: On the ‘Page SetUp’ tab, there’s a slider called ‘Amount of extension’ (‘Adjusts how much of the document extends off the paper during borderless printing’). I’d seen it before but not knowing what it was, I’d left it at the recommended setting: ‘The second right end is recommended. The extension amount is least at the left.’ When I set it at the extreme left, the prints came out the correct size.

So all seems to be well with A4 printing.

A3 print trials
I created a file a little less than A3, 23x35cm at 100pcm and printed it on A3, actual image size, crop to fit not on. It came out at 22.95x34.85cm, losing .5mm and 1.5mm. I printed the same file custom size, crop to fit not on, and it was better: maybe a tiny bit small on the width but 1mm short on the height. This time I can’t find a reason for it. Everything seems to be set the same way as for the A4 prints, except it’s glossy, A3 paper.

I was originally trying to print 303mm high by 216mm wide (A4 + 3mm bleed), at any resolution that looked good at that size. This size was specified to me and had to be exact. Previously, I've paid other people to print for me at this size as I only had an A4
printer, but I recently bought an A3 printer (Canon Pixma iX6500) and I wanted to do it myself. When other people printed to this size (one of them using Photoshop, the other I don’t know about), it came out exactly right. The deadline has now passed, but I will need to do this in the future, and as a photographic artist, I also want to print to specific sizes to fit mounts and frames. So I‘m not looking for a workaround for one particular size (though that would be helpful): I need to know how to get PSE9 to print to whatever size I ask for, or to know it’s not a problem with PSE9.

If you have any ideas about this, I’d be really grateful. And is there a way to save print options? When I started PSE9 up again, it didn’t even remember which printer I used. Oh, and I deleted all the editor preferences before I ran any tests. Thanks.