The softproof function in Photoshop and Lightroom allows you to get an impression on how a printout will look when printed on your printer with the appropriate paper. It can also show you how the print result will look when you receive the print back from the service provider.
Using softproof allows you to optimize your image for a print. You’ll need to have a profile that describes your printer/paper/ink combination. These can be generic profiles from the printer driver or profiles from the service provider describing their output system or custom profiles you have created with SpyderPRINT describing your own printer with the paper and ink you use!
In Photoshop you’ll need to go to View -> Proof Setup -> Custom. Select the profile that describes the print system with the appropriate paper. Select for the Rendering Intent “Perceptual” or “Relative Colorimetric”. Turn off “Black Point Compensation” and turn ON “Simulate Paper Color”.
In Lightroom, go to the Develop section and enable the “Soft Proofing” option under the image you edit. Now you can select the profile that describes the print system with the appropriate paper in the Soft Proofing section under the histogram. Select for the Intent “Perceptual” or “Relative”. Turn on “Simulate Paper & Ink”.
Tip: Use the « Create Proof Copy » button to create an image version you can optimize for this print while the original stays untouched for future editing possibilities.
Keep in mind that this requires a calibrated monitor and will allow you to optimize an image version for the perfect printout on the selected media. You won’t have to worry about time and money being wasted on your prints anymore!