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6 - Printing Tips

Here are some printing tips specific to Lightroom.

For general printing topics, go to Printing.

Full Frame Values for 8.5" x 11" Paper

Full frame means the entire photograph is seen.

The borders won't be even, all-the-way-around.

Here are the values when using:

• 8.5" x 11" paper.

• A digital SLR camera or a typical point-and-shoot camera.

Digital SLR: Landscape Orientation

Left

.25

Right

.25

Top

.75

Bottom

.75

Cell Height

7

Cell Width

10.5

Digital SLR: Portrait Orientation

Left

.75

Right

.75

Top

.25

Bottom

.25

Cell Height

10.5

Cell Width

7

Point-and-shoot: Landscape Orientation

Left

.25

Right

.25

Top

.31

Bottom

.31

Cell Height

7.88

Cell Width

10.5

Point-and-shoot: Portrait Orientation

Left

.31

Right

.31

Top

.25

Bottom

.25

Cell Height

10.5

Cell Width

7.88

Determining Margins & Cell Dimensions

You can download the Excel spreadsheet below.

You enter certain values, and the spreadsheet computes the other values for you.

Excel is part of Microsoft Office (Windows) and iWork (Mac).

You may be able to open it with OpenOffice, a free open-source suite of programs.

Layout_Panel_Values_Calculator.xlsx

Make Four Test Prints on One Piece of Paper

If you're not sure what's the best exposure, color, and so forth, make a single test print with four variations.

Follow the example in Prints Are Too Dark below.

The example uses Brightness as the variable.

Substitute the adjustment that you need to compare.

Prints Are Too Dark

If your prints are consistently too dark, increase the Brightness value in the Basic panel.

You'll print—on one sheet of paper:

• The original photograph.

• Three other versions with different Brightness values.

Below, we'll say the Brightness value for your photograph is 50.

Insert the actual Brightness value for your photograph where you see 50 below.

In the Develop Module

+ 30

1) Press Ctrl + ' to make a virtual copy of your photograph.

2) Increase the Brightness by 30.

The new value is 80: 50 + 30 = 80.

+ 20

3) Click on the preview of the original photograph in the Filmstrip at the bottom of your screen.

4) Press Ctrl + ' to make a virtual copy of your photograph.

5) Increase the Brightness by 20.

The new value is 70: 50 + 20 = 70.

+ 10

6) Click on the preview of the original photograph in the Filmstrip at the bottom of your screen.

7) Press Ctrl + ' to make a virtual copy of your photograph.

8) Increase the Brightness by 10.

The new value is 60: 50 + 10 = 60.

In the Filmstrip, you now have:

• The original photograph.

• Three virtual copies with increasing Brightness values.

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Original & Three Virtual Copies

Select all Four

9) Press and hold Ctrl, and click all four previews.

q

All Four Selected in the Filmstrip

In the Print Module

10) Go to the Template Browser panel on the left side of your screen.

11) Under Lightroom Templates, select the 2 X 2 Cells template.

You can now print your original photograph—and the three versions—on one piece of paper.

q

Original & Three Virtual Copies with Different Brightness Values

12) Print.

13) Then:

• Look at the print under lighting that's similar to the lighting under which it will be displayed.

• Determine which Brightness value is optimum.

This value is a good starting point for printing your other photographs.

Draft Mode Printing

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Draft Mode Printing

Work prints are low-quality prints used for:

• Layouts.

• Selecting the best shot.

• Deciding the sequence in a book or on a gallery wall.

You'll save ink, and the prints will come out of your printer faster.

Go to the Print Job panel on the right side of your screen.

Select Draft Mode Printing.

Draft Mode may have enough quality for contact sheets.

Print Photo Information on the Print

You can print information from the metadata of a photograph on the print.

For example, you can include the caption of the photograph on the print.

Go to the Page panel on the right side of your screen.

Select Photo Info.

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Photo Info

Choose what you want to print from the menu, and change the font size.

Print to a JPEG File

Let's say you have used a template with three photographs.

You need a hundred prints.

An online photo lab is cheaper than making the prints yourself.

How do you send the three-photograph layout to the online lab?

Go the Print Job panel.

You'll see:

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Print to Printer

Select JPEG File in the menu instead of Printer.

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Print to JPEG

The Print button changes to Print to File.

When you click the Print to File button, you can choose a folder to send the JPEGs of your three-photograph layout.

Borderless Prints

Borders are called margins in Lightroom.

To print with no margins, do the following.

Windows

Page Setup Button

1) Click the Page Setup button in the lower-left corner of your screen.

The Page Set Up button goes to your printer.

A better name for the button would be Printer Set Up.

2) Select your printer in the Name menu.

3) Select a paper size in the Size menu.

If it's listed, select the paper size with (borderless) or No Margins after the paper size.

4) Select an orientation, Portrait or Landscape.

Properties or Preferences Button in the Window

5) Click the Properties or Preferences button in the above window, the Page Setup window.

This opens a second window with more options.

This window varies depending on which printer you're using.

6) Select borderless printing.

You may have to hunt for the borderless option.

7) Click OK to close the windows.

In the Lightroom Print Module

8) Go the Layout panel on the right side of your screen.

a) Set all of the margins to 0.

b) Under Page Grid, set both Row and Column to 1.

c) Set the cell size to the width and height of your paper.

9) If your photograph and the paper have different aspect ratios, you may still see a border.

If so, do the following.

a) Go to Image Settings.

b) Select Zoom to Fill.

Part of the photograph will be cropped.

You can move the image around.

Click and hold on the photograph, and drag.

Mac

1) Click the Printer Settings button in the lower-left corner of your screen.

The Print Settings button goes to your printer.

2) Select your printer.

3) Use the pop-up menu below the Presets menu to select borderless printing.

4) Go the Layout panel on the right side of your screen.

a) Set all of the margins to 0.

b) Under Page Grid, set both Row and Column to 1.

c) Set the cell size to the width and height of your paper.

5) If your photograph and the paper have different aspect ratios, you may still see a border.

If so, do the following.

a) Go to Image Settings.

b) Select Zoom to Fill.

Two Notes

Note #1

Your printer may not support borderless printing on all paper sizes.

Note #2

Your printer may have borderless-printing settings that enlarge the photograph automatically.

For example, Epson has two options.

Click the Expansion button.

There are two options:

• Auto Expand

• Retain Size

Auto Expand is the default option.

The printer will enlarge the photograph automatically.

You can choose three Expansion sizes:

• Min

• Mid

• Max

If you choose the Retain Size option, you enlarge the photograph.

Colored Background

The default color of the background on your prints is white.

For example, if you're using a template with three photographs, the area around the photographs will be white.

You can change the background color.

Do the following.

1) Go the Page panel.

2) Select Page Background Color.

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Page Background Color

3) Click the color box on the right end.

4) Click to choose a color in the Page Background Color window.

The borders, the margins in Lightroom-speak, will still be white.

You may want to eliminate the borders/margins.

Go to Borderless Printing.

Watermarks

Go to Watermarks.