Colors on the screen and on the printer

One problem with computer screens is that their colors do not match the available colors on a printer. Screens emit combinations of red, green, and blue. The brightness control has a dramatic effect on displayed colors. Printed images reflect combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

As an example, pure green on computer screen is a fluorescent bright color that is impossible to reproduce accurately on any printer. Similarly pure blue on a computer screen will often print as a much darker purple-blue. Technically, the range of colors on a computer screen (known as the "color gamut") is far greater than that on a printer. So there will always be differences between screen and print colors.

Xara Designer Pro and Photo & Graphic Designer provide the ability to simulate how printed colors will look. Select Window -> Show printer colors -> Show profiled colors (the profile can be selected via the Utilities menu > Options > View) to get a better idea of how your colors will look when printed. This is an approximation only since printers vary slightly, but it is far more accurate than normal screen colors.

Tip: To get bright blue on a printer, select a color on screen that is almost pure cyan (printer's cyan is much more blue than screen cyan).


Copyright © Xara