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Openoffice.org / LibreOffice Draw template for Epson direct CD print (PX720WD)

Since writing my review of the Epson Stylus Multifunction Photo printer PX720WD I've been using it more. I'm still very happy with the printer, but there's just one little thing that needs a bit of a fudge to work, which is CD printing.

I've only tried this using OpenOffice.org 3 running on Ubuntu (at time of writing the default office suite). The template should work on OpenOffice.org on any platform (Linux, Mac, Windows etc.) or on Libre Office, but I'm not sure whether it is necessary to apply the workaround on all versions / platforms of the office suites. I also expect that the template should work on other Epson printers. Please use the comments below if you have any experience with other models.

This template is unlikely to work on other manufacturer's printers. Looking for direct CD print for Canon printers? Click here.

Firstly you need to create the CD in the correct position which is in the Top Left of a page. In my case using the A4 paper size as I live in Europe, but if you are in the US you could change your page size to Legal paper size if you preferred, although you shouldn't need to as only a small amount of the page is used.

To make life easier I've created the following template which you can open in OpenOffice.org / Libre Office.

Opening the template you will get a page as follows: OpenOffice.org Draw with Epson CD Print template As you can see the position of the CD is indicated. Note that the CD image is on a non-printable layer and so will not be printed. You can add your own text and images. Any parts that are on the printable area will be printed and any parts that fall outside of the printable area will be ignored. The printable area is dependant upon the CDs used (particularly whether the inner circle is printable) and upon printer driver settings (more about later). The problem then comes when trying to print. Whilst I believe it is possible to print to CD from OpenOffice.org the printer driver page makes it very difficult to change the settings to allow printing direct to CD. I therefore recommend first exporting as a PDF and then printing from inside of your PDF viewer, in my case the Evince Document Viewer (default on Ubuntu Linux). Use the Export as PDF option, you can accept most defaults, although you can increase the photo quality as the file size isn't an issue when just being used locally. Then load into your PDF viewer (eg. double click the exported pdf file) and print from there. On the print page choose Page Setup and set to "One Sided", Paper Type: CD/DVD and Paper Source CD/DVD. The Paper Size should match the paper size used in OpenOffice.org Draw (in my case A4). You can adjust the size of the printable area (eg. the inner circle size) on the Advanced Options page. If you discs can be printed almost to the centre then set the CD/DVD Inner Print Position to 26mm. CD/DVD Print Pos. Up-Down and Left-Right settings can be used to make small adjustments to the picture position on the disc if necessary.

Conclusion

On the Epson printer direct printing to printable CDs still works and gives excellent results. Unfortunately the way that the printing is handled in OpenOffice.org Draw means that it is difficult to print directly. Exporting as PDF and then printing from a PDF viewer provides a workable solution, although it does feel a bit of a fudge. An alternative may be to create a template in Inkscape, which looking at the print options should allow an easier way to print direct to CD. I'll look at putting together an Inkscape template and let you know how I get along.

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