Field Guide to Living with Your Inkjet Press: Ghostbusting

By Pat McGrew / Published:

By Pat McGrew

Last week I introduced a new series on Living with Your Inkjet Press where I promoted to share some tricks to help you to maintain your inkjet excitement. Last week we talked about Ghosts in the Machin, dealing with ink transfer from over inking. This week we are going for full on Ghostbusting.

Even if your inkjet press is supposed to be touch-free – no dials, knobs or levers to set, just push a file to the DFE and magic is supposed to happen – you are likely to find that there is still some work to do. If you are experiencing ink transfer ghosts in your jobs, don’t panic! This is a common challenge that has solutions.

Start with the profiles that control the ink settings and walk through this checklist:

  • Are you using vendor-supplied profiles?
  • Are you using custom-developed profiles?
  • Are you using profiles from another machine in your shop?
  • Are you using profiles from a friendly printer you met at a networking event?
  • Do you know if the profiles you are using respect or ignore settings in the print file?

Here is why that is important! When print files are created, it is common for designers to establish settings in their master files that set inking levels. In addition, they may be using graphic or image content that also has ink levels set within those files. If the profiles used are set to respect ink levels inside of the files and those files have content that specifies ink levels at greater than 100% of the process colors, you may be putting too much ink on the paper and limiting your options to meet your desired print quality. You can still experience too much ink on the paper even if the profiles are not using the exact settings in the print file but are flattening any ink limits above 100 to 100%, which may distort the interaction of the cyan, magenta, yellow and black from the designer’s intent.

Using the learnings from your vendor training to look for ways to dial back the amount of ink used but pay attention to the settings in the print file to ensure that the designer’s intent is maintained. If you are using vendor-supplied profiles, read the information about them carefully. Profile names can be misleading.

In tandem with working on the profiles, if you have control of dryer settings, remember that they have a role in transference, too. Look at the settings to ensure they are not too high or too low. Dryers that are set too high can cause the paper to become brittle and difficult to finish. Dryers set to low may prevent drying, no matter how perfect the profile settings may be.

About the Author

Pat McGrew


Pat is a well-known evangelist for inkjet productivity. At McGrew Group, she uses her decades technical and marketing experience to lead the industry toward optimized business processes and production workflows. She has helped companies to define their five-year plans, audited workflow processes, and developed sales team interventions and education programs. Pat is the Co-Author of 8 industry books, editor of A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge, and a regular contributor to Inkjet Insight and

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