View Full Version : Photoshop prints everything grey (no colour/color)

08-19-2008, 03:09 PM
What am I missing here? I'm guessing it might be something really silly - like an option ticked somewhere accidentally...

I've tried to print some photos from Photoshop. I know the printer is working - it did the task fine from iPhoto. When I use Photoshop the printout has no colour - everything is grey.

It's interesting that the same thing happens if I print to a pdf file too.

I've never had a colour printer until now, so I don't know if this is a new problem or not. Photoshop causes no other problems - I've used it recently to design files for others to print.

I have set some options within Photoshop in regard to colour management and calibration in the past (including calibrating the monitor as far as I can without specialist equipment). I can't remember exactly which options I set - but having had a look through the available options nothing jumps out at me as being likely to cause this specific problem.

(Photoshop 7, OS 10.3.9)

Thank you for any ideas - I'm stuck. I'll go to the adobe forums if I have to - but I'm hoping not to have to register for yet another forum.

08-20-2008, 02:58 AM
Can you say what printer you're using? Is it PostScript or not? Every bit of info helps....

08-20-2008, 08:14 AM
It's just a cheap (as in 'cheapest available') Epson desktop colour printer. Epson Stylus D92. Normally I use an old b&w laser printer. I think that means it isn't PostScript (not that I really know what Postscript is though).

08-20-2008, 08:29 AM
ok.... and you've done all the usual stuff with the page setup options (ie making sure it's set to print colour!)?

I reckon it's just a tick-box not checked somewhere, but it's tricky to problem-solve without actually seeing the print dialog.... do your other applications print colour ok?

08-20-2008, 08:33 AM
It may be that PS uses the default printer's PPD within its setup, unless you specify otherwise.

Have you tried using "Print with Preview" in the File menu? There are colour management options there.

Also, check you are not applying a Quartz Filter by mistake!

08-20-2008, 09:20 AM
Thanks for thinking about this for me.

There is a print dialogue setting - one of the bits that appears only for that specific printer - in which I've chosen colour (rather than 'black'). I've been looking for where another equivalent option might be located without success.

I have printed successfully from both Preview and iPhoto. iPhoto did a pretty good job. Preview didn't - although I think I switched off one of the colour management options somewhere (see below) when I did that. Anyhow, the main thing is that they both printed in colour.

I think that a real clue is that Photoshop also prints to a pdf file in black and white.

Yes, I have been using 'print with preview' and searching for an appropriate option there.

I may have been printing a file with an embedded colour profile: sRGB IEC61966-2.1 if that makes any difference. I'm kind of new to the colour profile thing - and fairly recently did some standard stuff to try to make Photoshop handle colour as well as possible (e.g. a simple monitor calibration exercise and setting Photoshop to ask me whether to include a profile) - so if there's anything related to this which might cause a problem it's worth a try. However, note that I did try discarding the embedded profile on opening the file - but it didn't help.

The Quartz filter part of the print dialogue says: Colour conversion: 'standard' - rather than the other option of 'in printer' (greyed out). When I set things up as if I'm to print to my laser printer it comes up as 'in printer' - but if I then print to a pdf file this comes out as black and white - so I don't think that's significant (this doesn't happen from other applications). It also says Quartz filter: None.

The color printer gives me a set of additional colour management options - I've tried using the Epson settings of Mode: Epson Vivid / Gamma: 1.8 - and I've also tried setting the controls to 'ColorSync' and 'off' - without this helping. And given that if I print to a pdf instead of this printer I get grey, I'm guessing that these settings aren't where the problem is.


08-20-2008, 10:02 AM
I think that a real clue is that Photoshop also prints to a pdf file in black and white.

If you did this with Save As PDF, note that this uses the default printer. Change your default printer to the EPSON, and see if this improves things.

08-20-2008, 10:11 AM
No - that doesn't help. I just did it quickly - nothing restarted or anything (e.g. photoshop already running, file already open). The Epson did come up as the default. The pdf - definitely a new one - is still black and white.

08-20-2008, 10:15 AM
...and the exact same file printed from Preview to pdf comes out colour! (just checked that again)

08-20-2008, 11:13 PM
What happens if you save the file as PdF in photoshop, then open that file in preview and print from there? Is it color then?

08-21-2008, 03:28 AM
It's already black and white by the time I open it in preview. Doing what you suggest has the results you'd expect. A black and white file opened in preview then printed, comes out black and white.

08-21-2008, 11:55 AM
What happens if you create a brand new user on the computer, log in to that user, and print the same color file that comes out as black and white when printed in Photoshop, except while logged in to the new user?


08-21-2008, 12:49 PM
The problem isn't with the file. I can print it in colour no problem - even after it's been through Photoshop - even when it has been created by photoshop. It is actually using Photoshop to do the printing which is the problem. I'm not sure I can access photoshop itself as another user to see how it behaves - will check, but I don't think so.

08-21-2008, 03:32 PM
You should be able to run Photoshop from any user on the computer. If you cannot, it's installed incorrectly.


08-21-2008, 03:53 PM
OK! New information - thanks Trevor. I didn't bother making a new user - just logged in as another existing user. I made a new file with Photoshop - just a very simple one with a couple of coloured lines. Printing (to a pdf file for simplicity) came out in colour. I changed a couple of options - like the page setup (in terms of what printer it was associated with) - but it still worked fine. Logging back in as me - and doing exactly what I'd done as the second user - but my problem remains. Again I only printed to pdf, but remember that it was a black and white hard print that was the issue in the first place - just saving paper and ink here.

So I've done 'something' - to how Photoshop deals with colour - but what on earth could it be??? (note that I'm not experienced with Photoshop by the way)

08-21-2008, 04:11 PM
Hmmmm. Maybe something ColorSync related?


08-21-2008, 05:06 PM
I was wondering that.

The print dialogue - if I select my colour printer - has a set of options about color management. There are three options - 'color controls' - which I guess are Epson's work - ColorSync, and off. I printed from iPhoto to pdf. The colour printer is currently set as the default (which I'm told above means that the save as pdf option uses its settings). I printed both with this color management options set to 'color controls' - and with it set to 'ColorSync'. Neither are black and white. I'm guessing that doing the second of these prints utilised ColorSync - without there being a problem.

08-21-2008, 05:10 PM
I also just tried setting Photoshop's 'color settings' to: color management off. No difference.

08-22-2008, 03:03 PM
So does the deafening silence mean that everyone is out of ideas? :-)
Thanks for trying anyway. I appreciate the time you've each put into this. If I work out what the problem is I'll let you know.

(Just to restate the problem for anyone who can't be bothered with reading the whole thread, and in the hope of new ideas - Photoshop seems to be determined to print everything in black and white and there's no obvious reason why.)

08-22-2008, 03:53 PM
Since you've determined that the problem is confined to just your user account, here is hayne's formula to solve the issue:

You have determined that the problem is only with the one user account.
The problem thus is almost certainly due to something under your home folder.
And it likely is something under ~/Library
( ~ = your home folder)
The most likely thing is a bad preference file under ~/Library/Preferences
You could start by removing the preference files for the apps you are having trouble with.
If the problem persists, you need to narrow the problem down - you could start by moving (via drag & drop) the whole "Preferences" folder that is under ~/Library to the Desktop, then log out and log in again. A default copy of the Preferences folder will have been recreated. Does that improve things? If so, you could use a divide & conquer approach to figure out which of the preference files is causing the problem - move half of the preference files back into the Preferences folder, log out & in again, etc.

If the problem persists, try the same thing with the other sub-folders of ~/Library. E.g. with ~/Library/Caches, ~/Library/InputManagers, ~/Library/Fonts, ~/Library/PreferencePanes, ~/Library/Application Support, ~/Library/Application Enhancers, contents of ~/Desktop, etc.
Also remove any files owned by your user in /Library/Caches (the Library folder at the top-level of the drive)


08-22-2008, 04:23 PM
Good old Hayne.
Will have a go.

12-09-2011, 12:41 AM
Since you've determined that the problem is confined to just your user account, here is hayne's formula to solve the issue:


I had this very problem, exclusive to Photoshop… After resetting the Photoshop (CS5) preferences per "hayne's formula", I was printing in color, no problem.