Praxisoft WiziWYG Review
WiziWYG - It does exactly what it says on the tin
Colour management is tricky stuff. WiziWYG, however, is not tricky. All you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions to print out a test chart, then you stick the reference colour chart (known as "IT8") onto the printout, scan it, and the software calculates the printer profile for you in about 30 seconds! It's as simple as that. It's Whizzy, and it's got a wig. Actually, I think the name refers to the fact that it's got a wizard (hence Wizi) and "what you see is what you get". So it's a sort of pun on WYSIWYG. Ho ho.There is a step-by-step guide here, but in short all you need to do is:
(1) turn of "printer colour management" and prepare your printer settings
(2) print your target
(3) scan your target and create your profile
(4) use your new profile, ensuring you use the same printer settings as in step (1).
So does it work?
The top row below is a comparison between the printer test file I use (which you can download for yourself from this website) and a scanned print made using the WiziWYG profile I created using Lyson Fotonic inks and Lyson 200gsm Smooth Fine Art paper. The scan was made using an Epson 2450 scanner. As you can see it is very neutral and closely matches the original.
The bottom row is a comparison between the printer test file and a scanned print made using the same Lyson inks and paper, but this time using the Lyson profile which is available for download from their website. As you can see it is OK, but not as good as the WIZIwyg profile.
WiziWYG is an easy to use piece of software. About the hardest thing to figure out is how to order it! The software itself is available for download free from the Praxisoft website, here. I would recommend you download it now unless you have other software for calibrating your monitor, because you can use the monitor calibration part for free!
To make printer profiles, however, you have to purchase the special IT8 target from Praxisoft, which you can do online here. At the time of writing it costs $79 which comes to about £75 for those of us in the UK once you've included postage. It arrived about a week after I ordered.
With the basic version of WiziWYG, you can't edit the profiles, and there are no controls for fine-tuning them. So it's just as well they seem to be pretty much spot-on without any fiddling!
I ought to point out that as WiziWYG uses your scanner to make printer profiles, the results will depend on the quality of your scanner. I got very good results with my Epson 2450 scanner, but presumably unless your scanner is up to the job you won't get such good results.
This is a very easy to use piece of software which creates profiles for monitors, printers and scanners. There is not much to say other than - it works! I was impressed. Printer profiles are highly complex things, and this software creates good ones for you in about the simplest manner you could imagine.
Please note that so far I've only made profiles with fine art (i.e matte) paper. I haven't yet investigated profiling glossy paper with this software.