Reference Guide


Printing with Windows

Increasing the Print Speed

General tips
Using Speed & Progress (Not available for Windows 3.1)
Using Port Configuration (Windows NT 4.0 only)

General tips

Just as printing at a high resolution requires more processing time, printing in color takes longer than printing in black because the volume of data in a color document is much greater. For this reason, it is important to be selective in your use of color if you also require a faster print speed.

However, even if your document requires the highest resolution and extensive use of color, for example when you are printing a camera-ready composite that includes color photographs, it may still be possible to optimize the print speed by adjusting other printing conditions. Keep in mind that changing some conditions to increase the print speed may also lower print quality.

The following table shows the factors that inversely affect print speed and print quality (increasing one will decrease the other).

Print quality
Print speed



Printer driver settings

Print Quality



High Speed




No Halftoning

Error Diffusion

Finest Detail



Data characteristics

Image size






The table below shows the factors related to print speed only.

Print speed



Printer driver settings







Flip Horizontal*



Reverse Order*



Data characteristics

Variety of colors


Full color

Hardware resources

System speed



HDD free space



Memory free space



Software status

Running applications



Virtual memory

Not in use

In use

*  Varies depending on the printer driver and application software you are using.
**  Grayscale means using black ink only to print varying shades of gray, from pure black to pure white.


Using Speed & Progress (Not available for Windows 3.1)

You can make certain print speed settings in the Speed & Progress dialog box. Click the Speed & Progress button on your printer software's Utility menu. The following dialog box appears.

High Speed Copies

Select to turn on high-speed printing for multiple copies. This speeds up printing by using your hard disk space as a cache when printing multiple copies of your document.

Show Progress Meter

Select to display the printing progress on the computer screen while printing.

EPSON Printer Port (For Windows 95 and 98 only)

Select to enable the EPSON printer port, which is optimized for EPSON printers, instead of the Windows default printer port. This speeds up the data transfer rate to EPSON printers.

Always Spool Raw Datatype (For Windows NT only)

Select this check box to have Windows NT-based clients spool documents using the RAW format instead of the EMF (metafile) format (Windows NT-based applications use the EMF format by default).

Try using this option if documents spooled in EMF format do not print correctly.

Spooling RAW datatype requires less resources than EMF, so some of problems ("Insufficient Memory/Disk Space to Print", "Slot print speed", etc.) can be solved by selecting the "Always spool RAW datatype" check box.

When spooling RAW datatype, print progress as displayed by the Progress Meter may differ from actual print progress.

Monitoring Preferences

Click this button to open the Monitoring Preferences dialog box where you can make settings for EPSON Status Monitor 3. For a detailed description of the available settings, see Monitoring Preferences.

To enable DMA transfer (For Windows 95 and 98 only)

If your computer has a parallel port which supports ECP mode, you can enable DMA transfer to speed up printing. See your computer manual to determine if it supports ECP mode and DMA transfer.

To determine whether you need to enable DMA transfer, compare the message below the EPSON Printer Port check box to this table, and take the recommended action.



High Speed (DMA) Transfer enabled.

DMA transfer is already enabled. Click OK to close the dialog box.

For higher data transfer rates, use DMA Transfer.

Follow the steps below this table to enable DMA transfer.

(No message)

Your system's parallel port setting does not allow DMA transfer. However, if you change the parallel port setting to ECP or Enhanced using your computer's BIOS Setup program, you may be able to use DMA transfer. Consult your computer manual or computer manufacturer for instructions. Once you change the parallel port setting, follow the steps below this table to enable DMA transfer.

Before you run the BIOS Setup program, uninstall the printer driver using Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. After running the BIOS Setup program, reinstall the printer driver.  

If you need to enable DMA transfer, follow these steps.

Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop, then double-click Control Panel.

Double-click the System icon and click the Device Manager tab.

Double-click the Ports (COM & LPT) icon and double-click LPT1. If you have connected your printer to a port other than LPT1, double-click the appropriate port icon.

Click the Resources tab, then deselect the Use automatic settings check box. Write down the Input/Output Range settings shown in the Resource settings box.

Select a basic configuration setting from the Setting based on list that uses the same Input/Output Range settings as those you wrote down in Step 4, and make sure the Direct Memory Access channel and Interrupt Request numbers are allocated and displayed. Confirm also that the Conflicting Device list box shows No conflicts.

Click OK to save the settings.

Reopen the Speed & Progress dialog box to verify whether DMA transfer has been enabled.

You may not be able to use DMA transfer on some computers even after you make the settings explained above. Consult your computer maker for information on the DMA transfer capability of your computer.


Using Port Configuration (Windows NT 4.0 only)

Port settings for Windows NT 4.0 are complicated and should only be made by an experienced person with administrative privileges.

If your computer has a parallel port that supports ECP mode, you can make certain print speed settings in the Port Configuration dialog box. Before making settings, make sure that ECP mode has been selected in your computer settings. For details about ECP mode, see your computer manual.

To access the Port Configuration dialog box, click the Start button, point to Settings, and click Printers. Then select your printer and click Properties on the File menu. The printer driver window appears. Click the Ports tab, then click Configure Port. The following dialog box appears.

Click the LPT port tab for the port to which your printer is connected, then click the Port Configuration button.

If your printer is connected to LPT1, only the LPT1 tab is available.

Resources Settings (IRQ and DMA)

If you have connected your printer to LPT2 or LPT3, making IRQ and DMA settings here may speed up printing. Input the same configuration numbers for IRQ and DMA which you have made with your expansion board. See your computer documentation to determine the settings for IRQ and DMA.

Use DMA transfer

Using DMA transfer to send print data to the computer may help you speed up printing. If the Use DMA Transfer check box is dimmed, you must first enable DMA transfer in your computer settings. For details, see your computer documentation.