Best printing quality in Gimp

I’m obviously missing something, but don’t know what. I need to be able to set best printing quality in producing digital negatives for contact printing using alternative photographic processes. I use Pictorico transparency film and an Epson Styles Photo T50 printer. I need to use an app like Gimp so that I can apply a correction curve that takes account of the characteristics of the process and materials used. The problem is that when I print the sheet feeds out in inch bites that leaves poor quality and horizontal lines between bites. I can solve the problem by exporting the adjusted image and printing it in another program like Pixelmator, which allows fine print settings. What am I missing? Many thanks.

Have you tried Gutenprint?
Turboprint is excellent, but there is a charge

Thanks Alex. I’ve installed Gutenprint, but how does it talk to Gimp? I’m useless when it comes to this sort of thing. I’ve searched the web for a simple explanation, but nothing makes sense to me. I’m still left with the old printing interface which won’t do the job for me.


Hi Barry,
I’m don’t have much printing knowledge but maybe this might help.
I actually use Glimpse (on windows) at the moment, which is very closely related to GIMP, so I assume the printing layout is the same, but not 100% sure.
When I go to ‘Print…’ in the ‘File’ menu, I get this little dialogue:

If I then click on ‘preferences’ my printer settings come up, like so:

and I can set all the printer settings. Obviously my printer is different from yours, my system probably is too, but you never know it might help :grinning:
Good luck!

Installed Gutenprint ? Then using linux (or is it MacOS)

The Gutenprint plugin uses CUPS. Did you install the CUPS driver. There is one for your Epson

A check using localhost:631 from your browser

Installed and working Gutenprint shows in the File Menu. You do need to set up the printer queue from Gutenprint. I find it works very well but that is for my needs. This kubuntu 20.04 / Gimp 2.10.32 from PPA. Do not expect Gutenprint to work if you are using a flatpak or a snap, for one thing it is installed in the wrong place.

Whichever print process used, have you set it to best quality printing. OHP transparencies are much the same as any photo-quality paper, the printer only prints to its capabilities and the image quality.

When it comes to TurboPrint, Many years ago, a bad experience with it and a Canon Printer. It would not use black ink only CMY. TurboPrint owner, not interested, but I understand it does have many happy users.

Many thanks Steven and Rich. I think I’m making headway. Yes I’m using Mac, and a check at localhost:631 suggests that CUPS is installed, as all the options for print settings are there and can be set, I used to dabble with Linux and when I switched to Mac I think I noted that CUPS is installed in Mac by default, although I could be wrong about that. Anyway, I think I’m on the right track now and will make test prints to see if I can get the fine quality needed for digital negatives. Thanks to all you your assistance.


I’m back again. I thought I was making headway, but not so. I’m obviously not seeing something in printer settings which is limiting my print quality, but I don’t know what it is. At the moment I can work around it by exporting the image from Gimp and printing via Pixelmator, which I can do with superb results. That’s OK, but I hate a problem which I can’t resolve, and obviously it would be better if I could print in Gimp.

Part of the problem is that all of the instructions on the web and in the Gimp manual show the Windows interface, which is different from the Mac one. It shouldn’t make any difference as they are similar, but not identical. In Mac I seem to be able to set everything for fine printing, but am obviously not, since the print comes out fast and therefore of poor quality.

So it seems to me that the correct Epson drivers are there because I can do a fine print using another program, but maybe Gimp is not accessing those drivers. If it was, surely I’d be getting a good print? The alternative is that I’m not choosing the right settings…the most likely explanation because I’m crap at this stuff.

It would be helpful if there is someone using Mac who could run me through the settings I should be using, Many thanks again.

p.s. Since my earlier post I’ve installed the latest stable Gimp, 2.10.32, but no change in my printing experience

Hello, I own a little print shop that runs on Linux and whenever I print something, I place the document (photo, artwork, texts) in Scribus (a dtp program) and export that as pdf. I print straight from the pdf viewer where I can set all the print parameters needed. Maybe this works for you as well.

Perhaps you’re not wrong, when I look in a browser on localhost:631 (the cups page), the following message appears:

CUPS is the standards-based, open source printing system developed by Apple Inc. for macOS® and other UNIX®-like operating systems.