Making test prints
There’s no sense sending a full-sized image to print if you can send a smaller test print instead. You’ll save on ink and paper, too.
Printing a selection
Edit your file until it looks ready to print, then choose the rectangular marquee tool, as shown above. Make sure the Feather value is set to 0, then draw a rectangle around an area in your image where both highlights and shadows occur. Next, select File > Print and then choose the Custom Size option from the Print Size dialog, as shown right. The print window will now display the selection you’ve made, which can be sent to print as usual. You can even choose to print the test more economically on a smaller piece of paper.
Judging the results
You’ll make at least two test prints using this technique, but use far less ink than you would printing a full sheet. The ideal print shows all details in both highlight and shadow areas simultaneously. You can judge this by looking into the darker areas of your test and checking that no areas of full black exist where the ink has filled in the details. Above are two tests made from the same image file, with the lighter, right-hand example looking the best. Although some colors look richer when they are darker, don’t sacrifice details to achieve that look!