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I've been frustrated lately with my iPF 5100 lately, it doesn't remember some things in the favourites for paper and involves a lot of manual re setting before printing and telling it 3 times, yes, I really want to print this file. One of the things I print on it is 7 x 10 cards by lying to the driver about paper size. If seem a lot about Qimage and had a few questions for those in the know.
Does it interact with the printer driver?
Does it allow you to bypass paper size limitations? the iPf checks the paper size before it prints and refuses to print on the 7 x 10 card stock I'm using when fed from the top feeder though by chance it will print from the tray. I jsut need to set up the paper exactly so it only prints on the 7x10 part of what it thinks is an 8x10 card.
Wondering if any one with experience could comment on how Qimage would interact with my iPf5100, particularly the paper size issues I have outlined.
Also I has a look at the webpage and I see they now offer ultimate but the previous options are also available, but being discontinued. Any comment on which version to choose?
Chris, from what I've read, the Canon printer driver can be troublesome in some ways. (HP too, on their big Z models.) Qimage is my go-to printing app, and I recommend it highly. But it does use the printer vendor's own driver. While Qimage has many RIP-like features to it, it's not a true RIP in that it doesn't have its own native drivers. (Building native drivers is very complex, you have to take direct control of the ink channels and derive custom algorithms for screening the RGB input into the right combination of ink dots. This is different for every different printer model. The Qimage developer, Mike Chaney, hasn't seen the need to go there. If he did, Qimage would cost $2000 like "real" RIP's.) So if you've got issues with the iPF 5100 due to its driver, Qimage may or may not be able to work around them.
One thing Qimage may be able to help with is remembering sticky driver settings. It does this on its own, outside of the driver's own internal presets and defaults. Qimage in fact can have a whole series of presets configured and you can switch between them on the fly; as part of this, Qimage optionally can configure driver-specific settings. This feature can't fix everything, however, especially if the driver is buggy or not really properly implemented according to the Windows printer driver specs which Qimage relies on to interrogate how the driver is configured, and to reset it to a known state if you so choose.
In particular with the iPF 5100, there are some things where the driver and printer hardware itself (like paper size sensor and some printer control panel settings) are tied directly together. Qimage won't be able to bypass these things because it isn't hijacking control away from the driver, it's just providing a lot more intelligent front-end to use the driver. In the case of minimum paper size, for example, Qimage wouldn't give you anything extra there. I have the same issue on my Epson 4880 which also has a minimum supported media size of 8x10. The easiest and least troublesome work-around is much like you're doing now. I'd use Qimage to define a layout template to position a 7x10 image accurately on an 8x10 paper size and tell the printer that 8x10 media was loaded. Then insert 7x10 cards and go from there.
Having said that there are limitations, I find Qimage is simply a much better all-around printing solution. So you may well want to look at it. If you've never licensed a version of it before, then Qimage Ultimate (the only version currently under active development) is what I'd recommend. People who already had a previous release, such as the Studio edition, may find that Ultimate isn't a compelling upgrade if they're mainly looking at the tool for managing the print workflow. That's because many of the features being added to Ultimate now are taking it in the direction of photo editing. An analogy might be to say that it's evolving towards Lightroom-type functionality. But people already locked into other image editing apps from Adobe, Apple or whomever, may not find Qimage a compelling tool in those areas. I personally use it just for printing but I did upgrade from Studio to Ultimate awhile ago, to get access to a couple of new printing features and to keep myself on the version that's being actively maintained.
Royce Howland Editorial Staff, NatureScapes.Net Visit my web site for photo galleries, my blog and 2013 photo tours & workshops in Iceland & the Canadian Rockies!