Epson Direct CD/DVD Printing Tips

There are untrue rumors circulating that the Epson R series printers can only perform direct to CD printing with the Epson supplied software. The truth is any CD labelling program that has the correct coordinates for the Artisan, R series, or any ther Epson printer since 2005 - and they are all the same - can print to a CD or DVD if you set the correct settings in the printer dialogs.

One of our most common technical support calls is when people try to print on the CD they put down the flap click Print, and promptly and get an error message about putting the flap up. The printer has a sensor indicating if the caddy feed flap on the front is down. If you fail to specify in the print dialogs that you are printing on CD, the printer driver figures you must have made a mistake to leave flap down and insists you put the flap back up.  In our opintion Epson should have had the printer driver obey the flap position, but it goes the other way around, so you must some steps to get it to work:

Instructions for Macintosh OS X / all Epson models except R800:

1) In Discus 3, Under the PRINT tab, you will see above the button "Select a Template..." the name of the currently selected paper pattern. Make sure you have an Epson R or Artisan series printer selected. It doesn't matter which one, Epson has engineered all their printers to have the same exact X Y coordinates.

Go to FILE / Page Setup and set the paper size to A4. The page setup dialog has 3 pulldowns, you must select a specific printer name, if you leave the pulldown menu as "ALL PRINTERS" it actually means NO printers and has no effect due to a longstanding Mac OSX bug. If you don't set paper size to A4 the driver will disable CD/DVD printing. Epson forgot to test their driver with USA settings; A4 is the most common paper size in Japan where the printer comes from. It doesn't make any sense to set paper size when you are doing a CD print, but if you don't set the paper size CD/DVD will be grayed out in the PRINT dialog.

2) Select FILE / PRINT or click the PRINT button to bring up the standard OS X Print dialog control. The control has three pulldown menus as shown in the above screenshot. The first pulldown is the printer name, which you should of course set to your Epson printer. The second menu is for presets, which you ignore. The third pulldown menu has is the critical one. Inside this third pulldown menu are a series of panels. Each panel covers an aspect of this print job, like Layout, Scheduling, Paper Handling, Paper Feed, Quality, etc. For the Epson R220, go to the pulldown titled "Print Settings", and under the submenu "Media Type", select "CD/DVD" or CD/DVD Premium Surface". We have never found any perceptable difference between the premium surface setting and the regular setting. On other Printers like the Epson R340, under Paper Feed, you select "All pages from" Print to CD. Below that it says "First Page From" and click to "manual feed", and in the next field "Remaining from" select Manual Feed. Otherwise it just ignores the job. If you don't set the paper type (also called media type in some versions) to CD/DVD, the printer will insist on feeding paper from the rear, and will complain about the flap being down. In some driver versions the critical pulldown menu is labeled "paper handling" and in that menu you select "CD / DVD". In other drivers it is hidden under "Media type". You must search for a control that allows you to do direct CD printing, and once you have set this switch it will work.

If you initiate a print job without finding the magical "CD/DVD" paper type, the printer will insist on feeding paper from the rear, and you will have to flush out the bad job with your print queue manager to get rid of it.

Instructions for Windows:

1) When you click the PRINT dialog, set the paper type to "CD/DVD" or "CD/DVD Premium surface". Epson considers CD Printing a paper type, and they hid the CD/DVD choices at the very end of the paper list after all the different glossy papers are listed.

2) Select paper feed as "Manual Feed" or "Caddy Feed". Automatic Feed means normal paper feeding and that won't work.

3) For some reason you must also select A4 paper size. A4 paper size is the ordinary paper size used outside the USA and the printer doesn't like printing on CD's when US Letter paper size is selected.

Instructions for Macintosh OS X / Stlus Photo R800:

1) The Epson R800 has a really awkward situation. Epson couldn't figure out how to get their regular driver to work prnting CD's so they created a special driver they call the Epson R800 manual feed which is the only way to get the R800 to swallow the caddy.

2) You must add a special variant of the printer called "R800 Manual Feed". To go to the printer setup in the print center and click the PLUS icon to add another priner. The printer in question to add is R800 manual feed. Instead of using a pull down option in the print dialog, you will pick the special printer.