Resolution issues with Canon Pixma MP499

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Resolution issues with Canon Pixma MP499

Postby fiorghael » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:51 pm

To keep it brief, my (not-very) old HP printer expired so I bought a Canon Pixma MP499.

It didn't work in Mint but Canon's Linux drivers solved that and also got scanner working (not under SimpleScan but under Canon's own front-end).

The only problem I now have is that there is no means of controlling printer resolution. Everything to be printed - from OOo, pdf, GIMP or whatever - outputs at 600dpi.

Googling has helped me resolve most of the Canon Pixma MP499 issues, but I'd appreciate any assistance with the resolution issue.
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Postby ferrari » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:32 am

One graphical way is to use the CUPS web interface. Launch your favourite browser and enter this URL:

http://localhost:631/printers/

Click on the Canon printer>>'Administration'>>'Set Default Options'

From there it is possible to adjust various printing options, including resolution. However, your options may be limited, depending on the ppd involved.
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Postby fiorghael » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:01 pm

Very interesting. I never knew there was such a page. Doesn't solve the print resolution problem, however, but many thanks.

From what I've learned on Google, Canon's Linux support used to be very patchy, so the drivers now supplied on their site are a great improvement on what went before and an acknowledgement of Linux.

By contrast, I know that HP support is excellent on Linux, having used three different HPs over the past four years and never having had a problem with drivers. The problem is that the printers don't last!

It's been suggested that instead of the driver I've used (http://software.canon-europe.com/software/0040269.asp?model=), I install from source as available at http://software.canon-europe.com/software/0040245.asp?model=

Would a source install offer something that the .deb doesn't? And, if so, how do I delete all traces of the currently-installed driver?
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Postby ferrari » Sun May 01, 2011 1:46 am

Would a source install offer something that the .deb doesn't? And, if so, how do I delete all traces of the currently-installed driver?

Unlikely - only if there was an update to the ppd.

However, if you navigate to /etc/cups/ppd/, you'll find the ppd (text files) for any printers you've installed, including 'Canon.ppd'.

It is possible to edit these ppd files to accommodate other print resolution settings. For example I have this section

Code: Select all
*OpenUI *Resolution/Resolution : PickOne
*DefaultResolution: 600
*Resolution 600/600 dpi: "<</HWResolution[600 600]>>setpagedevice"
*CloseUI: *Resolution


If I wanted to add an option for 300x300 DPI, I could edit this section, so it looks like

Code: Select all
*OpenUI *Resolution/Resolution : PickOne
*DefaultResolution: 600
*Resolution 600/600 dpi: "<</HWResolution[600 600]>>setpagedevice"
*Resolution 300/300 dpi: "<</HWResolution[300 300]>>setpagedevice"
*CloseUI: *Resolution


You'll need root privileges to edit this file, with your favourite editor.

Once done, you'll find there are now 2 resolution options available for the Canon printer. (I always use the web interface to set any desired options).
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Postby fiorghael » Thu May 05, 2011 12:01 am

Thanks Ferrari for your positive responses.

I've made the changes to the ppd and they're already producing 600 -v- 300 options in the print dialogues. Until now, of course, the only option was 600.

I will have to try them out to ensure that there is a genuine difference and, given your excellent advice in the previous post, I should be able to add a line for 1200.

That will give me a decent print distance to measure, as the "print space" between 300 and 600 is probably too small.

Thanks again - and I'll let you know how it turned out when I've done the comparisons.
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Another print problem - colour options.

Postby fiorghael » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:20 pm

Hi. Having sorted out the resolution options by editing the PPD file, what tweaks or additions do I need to make to provide a mono or black and while printing output option?

Depedning on the program I'm using, at the moment I've only got the RGB "choice" on some and no choice on others. The net result is that everything prints out in colour, wasting ink, even when I just want a quick mono draft.

In short, what I'd like to do is have black and white as the default output, with a choice to do so in colour if needed. And in terms of colour, by the way, isn't RGB unsuitable for paper output. Shouldn't there also be a CMYK option?

I'm assuming that these sections below from the PPD are relevant, especially the second one.

*ColorDevice: True
*DefaultColorSpace: RGB
*Throughput: "1"
*LandscapeOrientation: Plus90
*LanguageLevel: "3"
*FileSystem: False
*TTRasterizer: Type42


*OpenUI *ColorModel/Color Model: PickOne
*DefaultColorModel: rgb
*ColorModel rgb/RGB: "<</cupsColorOrder 0/cupsColorSpace 1/cupsCompression 0/cupsBitsPerColor 8>>setpagedevice"
*CloseUI: *ColorModel


Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Postby ferrari » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:01 pm

Hi. Having sorted out the resolution options by editing the PPD file, what tweaks or additions do I need to make to provide a mono or black and while printing output option?


Tweaking for colour and/or mono printing is unchartered territory for me, however that shouldn't stop one from experimenting :)

I have several printer ppd's present (some for mono laser and others for colour inkjet). I can configure my Epson CX-5500 for colour (rgb, cmyk, cmy) or mono (greyscale) printing via the CUPS web interface.

The colour inkjet printer ppd's all contain

Code: Select all
*ColorDevice:   True
*DefaultColorSpace:   RGB


The mono printers have

Code: Select all
*ColorDevice: False
*DefaultColorSpace: Gray


One approach is to copy your original ppd with the second 'tweaked' version containing the modified entries for mono printing only. Then set that as the default printer.

This guide might be useful to you.

I note that they mention the 'InkCartridge' option (not used in any of my ppd's), and further to this

It might be necessary to change several options when switching between print modes, especially in the case of color ink jet printers, as in the following example:

For "mono" Colors=Gray and InkCartridge=Black
For "color" Colors=Color and InkCartridge=Color


BTW, support for the CMYK colour model might depend on the driver concerned.
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