[Home printing tech support] My grayscale is green!

edited June 2010 in Game Design Help
OK, so I print at home, using glossy paper on an HP inkjet Photosmart printer. My operating system is Windows Vista. This is no the optimal arrangement for printing game booklets, but things have gone OK until recently: it started printing images in a greenish hue. Not the text, just the images. We're talking purely black or greyscale images in the first place, and they always came out black and white, until now.

At first I decided I was OK with that. It wasn't pure green, just greenISH--the darker lines resolve to black. And I felt the tint gave it a dreamlike quality, and I could dig that. So I kept going, printing The Dreaming Crucible to supply demand--until I started to run out of color ink.

So now I'm stuck--I can't print any more until I either buy a new color cartridge or get my machine to start printing properly again. The fine folks at Go Play NW cleaned me out, so I'm about to mail my last copy overseas, and that's IT!

And sure, I'll be wanting a color cartridge anyway--but do I really want to keep draining all the color ink for this baby? Do I want to be stuck printing grayscale in green forever? No to both! So help me, tech-savvy friends--what could possibly be causing this? How can it be stopped? I've tried setting my already-grayscale documents to print in grayscale. What else can I try?



  • Hey Joel,

    Not a solution, but a possible workaround:

    Keep your dying color cartridge in the printer, and then when you've clicked "print" and are looking a the print dialog box click through to the "properties" and see if there isn't a radio button to force it to "print in greyscale".

  • Posted By: Paul Czegesee if there isn't a radio button to force it to "print in greyscale".
    Tried that. Doesn't help. Weird, huh?
  • can you print the color red?

    if not

    YOUR RED IS LOW! or god forbid clogged.

    printers often use colors for under printing black and grays, when applied at the right ratio under printing with color makes blacks very rich and allows for very smooth grays. if your gray's are turning up green then it could mean there is not enough red in them.

    also it may be that your black is low and your seeing the under print more then you should maybe your black is low or need replacing,

    what kind of printer are you using? high quality printers can be had very cheaply on craigslist (just make sure they work first)
    also using cheap ink refilling locations is a major cost saver.
  • That would be missing magenta - the opposite of green in the reflective color wheel. The catch is that your printer should realize that it's out of magenta and do whatever it does when you're out of a color, not just print greenly. That implies to me that it's clogged, not empty. You can clean the head with alcohol and see if that helps. HP carts have built-in heads, so at worst you'll just have to replace the M cart.

  • Sounds like a color-matching issue. Acrobat/Reader is notorious at this. What program are you printing from? Does this happen in other programs?
  • I've had it happen in Acrobat Reader and OpenOffice.

    I'm looking into the red/magenta issue. Thanks, guys!
  • Seriously, it's magenta, not red. Red is made by combining magenta with yellow, and if you're making green, you've got yellow.

  • I'd also check the Printer Properties, because some printers have an option for using up colors (i.e. if the cartridge has all CMYK, not separate CMY and K, nor separate C and M and Y an K) where it does "combined black"--printing black with all colors. Thus, with magenta (M) missing/clogged, it can't get the full combined black.

    Or also look into undercolor settings in the artwork (and undercolor removal, in PDF Distillation setting) to see if the art itself is driving the use of non-black (non-K) colors in grayscale.
  • Thanks. I'll look into that.

    I solved the problem for now by creating a PDF to print from and using my mom's printer, which doesn't have a color cartridge. In the long run, I need to either get a new color cartridge, get a new printer, or figure out how to fool the current printer into doing what I want.

    Thanks for the help, everyone!

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