Epson Stylus Photo 960

The Windows driver software has been significantly changed and simplified with the addition of the Quality selection icons at the top of the MAIN page. Most users only need to select the Quality Type, Paper Type and Size and Orientation before hitting the OK button. Selecting the Borderless option limits the Paper Size choices to: A4, 3.5x 5", 4 x 6", 5 x 7" or Panoramic 8.3 x 23.4"

Here are the available Paper Types: Plain Paper, 360 dpi Inkjet Paper, Photo Quality Inkjet Paper, Matte Paper - Heavyweight, Photo Paper, Glossy Photo Paper, Premium Glossy Photo Paper, Premium Luster Photo Paper, Premium Semigloss Photo Paper, Photo Quality Glossy Film, Colorlife Photo Paper, Inkjet Transparencies or CD/DVD.

With the Stylus 960 you have three different Paper Sources possible: the normal sheet feeder, roll paper or manual feed of thick media.

Clicking on the Advanced button from the Main page presents you with this almost mind-boggling array of settings. You have the ability to set or override just about all the important printer settings; paper type, print resolution (360, 720, 1440, 2880dpi), high speed on/off, black ink only, edge smoothing, print preview and color controls galore.

Color management is handled by Windows ICM or you're free to manually "diddle" with everything if you select Color Controls option.

The PhotoEnhance option lets you adjust settings for digital camera images. The Tone settings are: Normal, Hard, Vivid, Sepia and Monochrome. The Effect options are: Sharpness, Soft Focus, Canvas and Parchment, the level of these effects is controlled by the Low-High slider.

The Page Layout options control the way the printing is done on the media. You can Center it in the printable area, the Minimize Margins will get you as close as possible to borderless on letter size paper (down to about 1/4 inch of border.) Rotate 180° or use the Mirror Image option if printing on inkjet back light paper. Reduce or enlarge, add a visible watermark, select multi-page options, number of copies, poster printing or double-sided printing.

The Maintenance page lets you manually start the Status Monitor (see below), run a nozzle check, perform head cleaning, align print heads, calibrate the roll paper cutter or change the Speed & Progress settings.

Selecting the Print Preview option will display this visual preview -before- the printing starts. This gives you a last chance to abort in case you've selected the wrong paper size or orientation so you don't waste a sheet of expensive photo paper. You can also see how the printing will be placed on the media, i.e. the borders.

This Status Monitor will popup whenever you start printing. Here you can visually see the current ink levels, the selected media type and a progress bar to let you know how much longer the printing will take. You can also read various "how to" printing tips.

When any cartridge is getting close to running out of ink this popup alert will be displayed to let you know which cartridge(s) need to be replaced. And if you're online you order them by just clicking your mouse. I had printed 31 8.5x11" prints, 5 5x7" prints and about a dozen 4x6" prints before receiving the low ink warning screen shown here.