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Gimp-Print 4.2.3

Open-source printing tools for Mac OS X By Dave Nagel
All of you who have printing problems in Mac OS X, open up your e-mail program and get ready to type a thank-you letter. I'm about to introduce you to a tool that will not only open up all of the possibilities of your printer from any application under Mac OS X, but will also cause you to utter an audible gasp of awe as you stare in amazement at how wonderfully and elegantly this tool--Gimp-Print--works. You might also want to take out a hanky, as you're bound to get a little teary-eyed at the realization that something this great could actually be free.

Every once in a while, a piece of software comes along that adds critical functionality to your Mac, fixes a problem for you or just makes things work the way they should. If you're using Mac OS X 10.2, Gimp-Print will do all three for you, do them flawlessly and--I must emphasize this--do them for free. And by "free," I don't just mean the cost of the software (which is indeed free). I also mean that the software is open-source, which, unlike the commercial software that Gimp-Print puts to shame, means that the license terms of the software are respectful of the user and promote the continued, unfettered development of technology to the benefit of everyone. (Incidentally, open-source software is not always free of charge. That's just an added benefit for Gimp-Print.)


In short, there simply is no reason not to use and love Gimp-Print.

What the heck is it?
Let's face it: If there's one major weakness in Mac OS X, it's printing. And this has been a critical flaw since the beginning that has caused a whole lot of you out there--particularly graphic designers--from making the switch, or at least making the switch on a full-time basis.

Gimp-Print is a piece of software that installs under Mac OS X to improve dramatically the way your machine accesses your printer's features with custom drivers and CUPS support for OS X 10.2. Unlike the drivers that are included with Mac OS X--or even the drivers supplied by manufacturers for OS X--Gimp-Print allows you to access all of your printer's functionality, even some features that weren't available under Mac OS 9.

I, for example, use an Epson Stylus Photo 1280 as my primary printer. In Mac OS X, there were very few printing options that I could choose for this printer. But now, with Gimp-Print, not only can I access advanced functions, I can also print border-free from any application on any paper size. In OS 9, I could only print border-free from Epson's print utility, and then only on specific paper sizes. So not only has Gimp-Print given me back my printer's full capabilities, but it's added some that weren't accessible before.

But you don't have to be using an Epson 1280 to get something out of this software. Gimp-Print supports a huge number printers--both inkjets and lasers--and the list is growing all the time, as the software is constantly in development. At press time, there were something like 73 printers that were fully operational using Gimp-Print (most of them Epsons), and another 400 or so in various states ranging from "mostly functional" to "still in testing."

Here are some examples of the additional functionality you'll gain on an Epson printer.


1. True border-free printing from any application. Unlike the "Custom Page Size" option introduced with mac OS X 10.2, the Gimp-Print software will actually print border-free.


2. A paper-feed option for standard and roll feeds.


3. New Printer Features pane in the Print dialog with three sets of parameters, offering additional media types, resolution options, image types, dither algorithms and ink types. It also offers controls for brightness, contrast, gamma, density and output mode, as well as overall saturation and individual controls for cyan, magenta and yellow.


4. Page Setup now provides you with more than 65 pre-defined paper sizes for the Epson Stylus Photo 1280, all available with zero margins for border-free printing.


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Related Keywords:Gimp-Print 4.2.3 Open-source printing tools for Mac OS X All of you who have printing problems in Mac OS X, open up your e-mail program and get ready to type a thank-you letter. I'm about to introduce you to a tool that will not only open up all of the possibilities of your printer from any application under Mac OS X, but will also cause you to utter an audible gasp of awe as you stare in amazement at how wonderfully and elegantly this tool--Gimp-Print--works. You might also want to take out a hanky, as you're bound to get a little teary-eyed at the realization that something this great could actually be free.

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