Mac OS X: "Print failed due to program error" when printing a 2 GB or larger graphic
Mac OS Printing/Fax (any version), iPhoto
If any single graphic in a print job is larger than 2 GB, you may see this alert message when printing:
"Print failed due to program error"
Edit the large graphic(s) to use a resolution of 360 DPI. Note: 360 DPI is a good general recommendation. Check the printer's documentation and printer manufacturer's website for more information about the maximum resolution for printing graphics.
When printing graphics to a inkjet or laser printer, the graphic(s) resolution rarely needs to be more than 360 DPI. If you send a higher-resolution graphic to your printer than is needed, the image will be reduced to a resolution which your printer can handle. With a very large image (2 GB or larger), you may see the "Print failed due to program error" alert message and the print job will not work.
Reducing your graphics to the maximum resolution that your printer can print may also improve printing performance, because your Mac will not have to pair down your graphic resolution to match your printer.
If you want to calculate the byte size of your image, you can use these formulas:
- For graphics based on 8-bit RGB component:
3 x DPI x DPI x height x width
- For graphics based on 16-bit RGB component:
6 x DPI x DPI x height x width
- For graphics based on 8-bit CMYK component:
4 x DPI x DPI x height x width
- For graphics based on 16-bit CMYK component:
8 x DPI x DPI x height x width
- For graphics based on 8-bit grayscale component:
1 x DPI x DPI x height x width
- For graphics based on 16-bit grayscale component:
2 x DPI x DPI x height x width
Because ink jet and laser printers use a process called halftoning to approximate the colors in your image, the maximum useful image resolution is typically 1/4 (one fourth) the advertised resolution of your printer. For example, a printer that advertises a resolution of 1440 DPI does not require graphics with more than a resolution of 360 DPI. Note: 360 DPI is a good, general recommendation. Check the printer's documentation and printer manufacturer's website for more information about the maximum resolution for printing graphics.
Halftoning approximates colors by printing a pattern of dots that, when viewed from a distance, look like the original color. Modern printers use very small dots so you have to look very closely to see them.
The graphic below shows shades of cyan from white to full saturation. The halftone process uses different dot patterns to represent the shades of cyan. In the first graphic pixel zoom we see no printer pixels of cyan, which represents white. The next graphic pixel zoom shows 25% of the printer pixels having a cyan dot, making for a graphic pixel of 25% cyan saturation. The halftone process adds more cyan dots until all the dots are filled with cyan, making or a full saturation of cyan graphic pixel.
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