If you’ve used the Brother P-Touch Editor for Windows or Mac, you may have noticed one, two or all three of the following print modes:
- High Speed
- High Resolution
Depending on the printer and the labels you’re printing onto, you might be given a choice from the default “Standard” option. But what benefits do these other options give over the default setting?
Without stating the obvious too much, this setting will print the labels as quickly as possible depending on the labels and printer. For example: the PT-P900W with a HGe tape will be able to print a lot faster than usual.
“Why not use this option all the time?”
The down side to printing with the higher speed is the reduction in quality. This isn’t on purpose, but it is a side effect of printing really quickly. The printhead just can’t keep up.
This mode slows the printer down so that more pixels can be laid down in a smaller area. For example: instead of a 100×100 pixel square, it will print a 100×200 pixel square. It can’t magically squeeze more pixels onto the printhead X axis, but it can allow the printhead to print more pixels on the Y axis.
“Why not use this option all the time?”
It’s slowing it down to up to half the normal speed. If for example you’re only printing address labels, you could improve your output by choosing another speed as the quality of address labels doesn’t need to be amazing; it just needs to be readable. Other labels might look better to be printed in the higher resolution mode.
This is the default setting for all printers and labels. In some cases it is the only option depending on the printer or labels.
This mode combines the best of both the previously mentions modes. It prints quickly with a good enough quality without compromising one or the other too much.
This is the mode that is default and used the most. A lot of people don’t even know the setting is there; and why should you? There’s nothing wrong with the standard print to even question the speed or the quality.
Let’s look at the differences between the qualities.
Materials can make a world of difference. Below are examples of the print quality differences between paper and film and even a yellow paper. For this test I’m using a QL-700.
Looking at the sample above, we can see a white paper, yellow paper, and clear film sample. The letters “St” are printed in the standard resolution and speed, the letters “HQ” are in the high resolution.
There is very little difference between them with such a large font size, but on the clear film, the St appeared slightly lighter and the HQ was a very deep black.
The above test was a pixel test. We can see on standard that the pixels seem to clump together and make a tartan effect. Also some of the pixels are not consistent in size. Meanwhile, the high resolution mode produces the pixels a lot more clearly.
For this test I’m using a PT-P900W. To produce the best tests between speed and quality, I chose to use the slightly more expensive HGe tapes.
The sample above is printed as the following:
- HS = High Speed
- St = Standard
- HQ = High Quality
If you click on the image above to zoom in, you will see the slight stuttering on the S on the HS. Between the ST and HQ, it looks like there’s not much between them, but my scanner is to blame as it could only scan at 600 dpi. If I had used a smaller font, the difference would be very clear between the two, but a large font didn’t give it justice.
Click on the above image to see it in full size. The smallest font size is 5pt. The differences between high speed and standard is very obvious, but high resolution mode only becomes obvious with the smaller font. That being said, the larger font in high res mode does have beautifully rounded curves instead of the jittery edges in standard and high speed.
Don’t expect to see this high resolution on all printers, the P900W is one of a few high-end printers that will print onto TZe and HGe tape. None of the hand-held printers have an option to improve the print speed or resolution. The QL-700 doesn’t seem to have a faster print speed on any material.
If you require advice on printing labels at speed or in exceptionally high quality, give us a call and we’d be happy to help you. There are more other models and brands that will be able to produce the labels.