Previously I had asked a question about Adobe printing different colours between PC and Mac, but it turns out that my client is experiencing this issue when printing any documents.

I was able to test print two versions of a client's brand-standard RGB value from two machines on the network and they were very different shades of blue. The problem appears to be at the OS (or perhaps driver?) level and not from, say, differing colour profiles within a program since the problem seems somewhat universal across the OS. They also mentioned another employee with a Windows machine as having "the same problem printing."

I've attached a photo showing the print job sent from two sources:

1) a Macbook Pro running OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan 2) a Windows 10 system with current updates installed (as of posting)

These came from a Word doc (to test whether it was an Adobe-specific issue). They were both printing to the same Xerox WorkCentre 7835 over a network. The only other thing I can think to note is that I could not find any sort of colour management settings in the printer driver from the Windows machine. Just basic stuff like print-quality and supply levels.

Side-by-side print comparison

  • What are the setting for "print quality" on Mac? Maybe there is "save ink" option enabled? – SZCZERZO KŁY Sep 26 '16 at 12:46
  • They've never been touched (and default to Normal, I believe). The saturation in both print jobs was the same, so I don't think any ink control features have changed the hue. – armadadrive Sep 26 '16 at 12:51
  • If you're getting the same discrepancies with different documents from different software then that points to it being a print driver issue. As long as the files are correct and using the correct color profiles then there isn't much you (or us) can do about it and it becomes a software support issue—which you're better off asking about on Super User. – Cai Sep 26 '16 at 12:59
  • Hey @Cai - I don't know enough about color profiles to say with certainty that they're the same. I'm not sure how the OS handles color profiles. Whoever downvoted - care to explain? – armadadrive Sep 26 '16 at 13:05
  • 1
    Most likely the color manager is tuned differently the other driver is probably sending perceptual intent and the other is sending a saturation intent. For a primer read: cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/color-space-conversion.htm – joojaa Sep 26 '16 at 17:57

In my opinion is not just about operating systems but machine per machine basis.

Did you ever installed a printer driver and color profile?

Anyway. The best bet is to get one of this: http://www.colormunki.com/welcome/design and calibrate your equipment.

Just read the licencing and see how many computers can be calibrated with one licence. I think one company on one location is ok with the licence.


Always check your print settings. Make sure you let the program you're using manage the colors and adjust the print settings to account for the type of paper you're using.

It's very possible that Mac and Windows have different default print settings which is probably why the colors are coming out differently.

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