Richard Nagle writes:
> When looking at a gimp file .xcf, and want to print out that file (photo)
> I used export.. gimp wanted me to flatten the layers, I did not want to
> do that...

Some of what you and Michael Chang describe seems foreign to me,
which made me wonder what platform you're on -- I think there are
platform differences between the printing plug-ins.

On Linux, printing is really straightforward. I'm in an XCF and
I do File->Print. I get a dialog saying that GIMP can't handle
layers and offering to export, and I say yes. That's just for the
printer; it doesn't flatten the layers in the current image or
otherwise change it (much like how saving to jpeg will flatten
layers in the saved file, but the file you're editing still has
all the layers intact).

When I agree to the Export, I get the gimp-print dialog which has
all the printer info, and a tab for Image/Output Settings where I
can select grayscale (since you mentioned wanting that) or click
Adjust Output to get lots of sliders for adjusting brightness, etc.

> Should I just save the image in .jpg format then print normal?

Saving in JPEG loses a little bit of information each time you save.
At least use a non-lossy format like PNG.  I'm not sure what "print
normal" means.

> Still compare to the screen image, the photo is off,
> from 25 - 40 %
> $64.00 question, how to fix it. ( what you see is what you get. )

Sometimes it can take a lot of fiddling, and unfortunately a lot of
sample prints, to get a print to come out with the same brightness
balance you see on the screen. If you "Save Settings" from the
gimp-print Adjust Output dialog, the settings are remembered (or
at least they used to be), so once you find the mapping from your
monitor to your printer, you can probably use that with minimal
changes from then on.

I think having "color profiles" for your screen and your printer
will eventually be able to help with this (and I believe that's
being actively developed in GIMP), but I suspect that setting up the
color profiles in the first place will still be a time consuming
task. Maybe we'll be able to use pre-built profiles for common
printers and monitors. But I'm slightly dubious: I used to have two
monitors of the same model, which displayed colors quite
differently, perhaps due to age; and color inkjet printers vary
depending on the kind of paper you use.

If you need even more adjustment than that -- e.g. adjust the bright
areas but leave the darks unchanged -- you might have to use
something like the Curves tool with saved curves. This unfortunately
*would* mean you'd need to flatten the image, in order to apply the
curve to all layers. But you don't need to save the image as
flattened; you could edit the XCF, flatten, apply the curve, print,
then Revert it from the saved file. (Just be careful not to save
the file accidentally while it's flattened. But if you do that,
you can always Undo the flattening, then Save again ...)

michael chang writes:
> The GIMP's print module will only print the current layer by default. 

This must be a platform difference, and a different print plug-in
from the Linux gimp-print one I'm using. GIMP prints all layers
of an XCF for me.

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