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Printing from Lightroom

Unlike Photoshop, Lightroom is built on the concept of modularity. Different functionality is available in different modules. In the Library module, you can create collections. When you’re getting ready to print, create a collection of the images that have been soft proofed and are ready to go. It’s best to select an image from a collection when you’re in the Print module. You can select a single image from the library and print it, but one of the major benefits of working in the Lightroom is the ability to work with larger volumes of images at a time.

When you’ve soft proofed and prepared your images, go to the Print module (you can use the Mac keyboard shortcut Command+Option+6 or Control+Alt+6 for Windows). The right side of the Print module has panels that let you set up parameters for printing. The left side has panels for templates and collections. Figure 4.45 shows an image in the Print module (note I’ve hidden the top bar and collapsed the Collections panel to save space). Select your collection from the Collections panel on the left. Then select the image you want to work with from the filmstrip at the bottom of the application window.

FIGURE 4.45

FIGURE 4.45. The Lightroom Print module.

First, you need to set up a page. Click Page Setup at the bottom of the panel set on the left side. Then select a printer and a paper size. I’m selecting a custom 8.5 × 11 inches with four equal margins of 0.75 inch. Then click OK. Unlike Photoshop, which combines the page setup and printer settings in one dialog box, Lightroom separates them into two. I’ll come back to the Print Settings dialog box later. Figure 4.46 shows my Collections panel with Prints selected and the Page Setup dialog box for the Mac. In Windows there’s a single button named Page Setup that launches the standard Printer Properties dialog box. The reason I suggest starting with selecting the printer and page setup first is that all of the parameters you’ll be adjusting in the panels on the right will be set based on the paper and margin sizes. It’s more efficient to start with the correct paper size!

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COLLECTIONS PANEL

FIGURE 4.46

FIGURE 4.46. The Collections panel and Page Setup dialog box.

PAGE SETUP DIALOG BOX

The Layout Style panel

The first panel on the right side is the Layout Style panel. If you’re making a single print or a contact sheet, select Single Image/Contact Sheet. Figure 4.47 shows the Layout Style panel.

FIGURE 4.47

FIGURE 4.47. The Layout Style panel.

Picture Package

Picture Package lets you include different sizes of the same image on a single page. This option is often used for portraits or wedding photos, when a client might order an 8 × 10, a 5 × 7, and a couple of wallet prints. It’s useful in a production environment because you can gang multiple images on a sheet, and then cut them into separate images after printing.

If you select Picture Package, you’ll usually select a template from the Template Browser panel on the left side of the application window. I chose (1) 7 × 5, (4) 2.5 × 3.5. However, you don’t have to use Lightroom templates. When you select Picture Package, a Cells panel appears; in that panel you can create a new page and add preconfigured sizes to it, mixing and matching to suit your needs. Click the triangle next to an option to see more sizes, or choose Edit from the dropdown menu and create a new custom size. Figure 4.48 shows the Template Browser and Preview as well as the Cells panel. The Height and Width sliders are active because I’ve selected the 5 × 7 image. Otherwise, if no cell is selected, the sliders are dimmed.

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TEMPLATE BROWSER SHOWING PREVIEW

FIGURE 4.48

FIGURE 4.48. The Template Browser and Cells panel.

CELLS PANEL

Picture Package always uses a single image in an array of differently sized images. Once the images are arrayed, you can click Auto Layout, which configures and rotates the images for maximum efficiency on the paper. In the Cells panel, you can adjust individual cells to make them bigger or smaller. How the Height and Width sliders affect the cell depends on the options selected in the Image Settings panel. If Zoom to Fill is selected, the image zooms in or out to fit the cell borders. If you want to maintain a specific crop, deselect Zoom to Fill. Rotate to Fit is probably one of the things I like best about the Lightroom Print module, because you can rotate images and not have to worry about the landscape and portrait mode. Figure 4.49 shows the result of selecting the template with the Zoom to Fill option unchecked.

FIGURE 4.49

FIGURE 4.49. The results of selecting the (1) 7 × 5, (4) 2.5 × 3.5 template.

Custom Package

Below Picture Package is Custom Package. Unlike Picture Package, Custom Package allows you to put different images on the same page. You can size and position them however you’d like. Figure 4.50 shows an example of a really simple one using the template Custom Overlap x3 Border. Click and drag an image from the filmstrip and drop it into the individual cell. Using Custom Package, you can still add individual cells from the Cells panel. Figure 4.50 shows the template, preview, the template browser, and an array of three vertical images.

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TEMPLATE PREVIEW

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TEMPLATE BROWSER

FIGURE 4.50

FIGURE 4.50. Custom Package.

THE RESULT OF THE TEMPLATE WITH IMAGES PLACED

Photographers might use the custom package to do promotional prints. While Picture Package is often used for customers, Custom Package is often used for self-promotion. But a wedding photographer might have a custom package with a group shot up above and a variety of individual shots below. It’s designed as a method of putting multiple images on the page in a somewhat limited layout design. It’s certainly not intended to take the place of InDesign.

For both package types, you can add a border and an inner stroke in the Image Settings panel. The border ends up being white; the inner stroke has a custom color—you can select any tone. You can’t select a color, but you can select the tone. You can customize and eventually get a spectrum of colors, but generally speaking, my aesthetics are such that I wouldn’t want to have a weird color border.

Contact Sheet

The Single Image/Contact Sheet layout style (shown in Figure 4.47) allows you to create traditional multi-image contacts similar to the old analog contact sheets where you would place a page of negatives over photo paper in the darkroom. The Lightroom contact sheet is a lot easier to use. Figure 4.51 shows the result of selecting the Lightroom 4 × 5 Contact Sheet template and selecting the images in the collection to put into the contact sheet.

FIGURE 4.51

FIGURE 4.51. The results of putting images in a 4 × 5 Contact Sheet template.

In the Page panel, I’ve selected a couple of options to add to the contact sheet. I’ll include page numbers (because the resulting contact sheet will be three pages long) and select the Photo Info option to add the filename under the images. I’ll also check the option to Keep Square in the Layout panel. Figure 4.52 shows the Page panel, the Text Template Editor dialog box, and the Layout panel.

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THE PAGE PANEL

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THE TEXT TEMPLATE EDITOR DIALOG

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FIGURE 4.52. The Page Info panel, Text Template Editor dialog, and Layout panel for configuring the contact sheet.

THE LAYOUT PANEL

The Text Template Editor allows you to select various options and insert them as “tokens” into the text that will be displayed in the print. For a contact sheet, obviously you would want the filename for identification, but you could also add additional text such as your copyright info. You can’t add a hard return (hitting the enter or return key will close the dialog box), but you can add spaces to separate the tokens. The text will wrap to multiple lines, depending on the overall text length. Also note you can simply enter text directly into the editor and not be bound by the tokens. At the top is a menu that allows you to save the text settings as a preset. The ability to add text under the images isn’t limited to contact sheets; you can add text to any layout style. The limitation is that you can’t alter the font or the color (it’s a default sans serif font that will be different on Mac and Windows), but you can alter the font size.

You can change the grid, the cell spacing—vertical and horizontal—and the cell size. For the most part, if you’re creating contact sheets, I’d suggest keeping the cells square so that horizontal, vertical, and square images all fit within the same area. That will make your contact sheet more coherent and make it easier to identify image by image. To add pictures to the contact sheet, just select multiple images in the filmstrip. You can see the grid you’re using in the Preview panel in the upper-left corner of the application window.

For making contact sheets to send as PDF files, you can select Draft Mode Printing in the Print Job panel to use Draft Mode Printing; this will render the images from Lightroom previews without rendering the full resolution from your original images. This option is really fast. Figure 4.53 shows the Print Job panel set to Draft Mode Printing, the Print dialog box choosing the Save as PDF option, and the final saved contact sheet PDF (which was a 4 MB file on disk). Note that the Mac Print command includes the ability to print to PDF. For Windows, you’ll need to download a utility add-on to print to PDF (do a Google search for “print to PDF on Windows”).

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THE PRINT JOB PANEL WITH DRAFT MODE PRINTING OPTION SELECTED

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THE MAC PRINT COMMAND WITH SAVE AS PDF SELECTED

FIGURE 4.53

FIGURE 4.53. Saving the contact sheet PDF.

THE FINAL PDF FILE SAVED ON DISK

The Image Settings panel

As I mentioned in the Picture Package section, you should leave Zoom to Fill unchecked if you want to maintain the crop on your image. That’s true no matter which layout style you’ve selected. I selected Rotate to Fit; in this case, if I deselect it, the image becomes a smaller image in the center of the page, but with Rotate to Fit selected, the same image is rotated to fill the cell size automatically. Figure 4.54 shows the Image Settings panel with Rotate to Fit checked. It also shows the horizontal image auto rotated, and the unrotated size and position with the Rotate to Fit unchecked.

FIGURE 4.54

FIGURE 4.54. Using the Rotate to Fit option in the Image Settings panel.

Depending on how many images you have selected in the filmstrip, you may want to select Repeat One Photo Per Page. Another option is to apply a stroke border. Normally, I wouldn’t have a border on anything other than a high-key shot that might have white or very light tones all the way to the edge. I like to use a stroke border as a method of creating a holding rule on the image. Figure 4.55 shows a high-key image with a 2-pt black stroke around the image. Here, the stroke border will help contain the image and provide a final border around it, giving an indication of where the image ends and the margins start.

FIGURE 4.55

FIGURE 4.55. Using a 2-pt black stroke to contain a high-key image.

The Layout panel

You can choose to use inches, centimeters, points, or picas, but I’ll stick with inches. You can independently control the top, left, right, and bottom margins. Use the slider to vary the width. In this case, I’m moving the slider for the left margin to the right; instead of using the slider, you can enter a number, which I find is generally more precise. You can also hover your cursor over the margin in the image window and drag the margin on the page itself. When you do that, the cursor changes from a pointer to a cross with horizontal arrows. Figure 4.56 shows the Layout panel, using the scrubby slider to adjust a margin or dragging the cursor directly on the print margin guides.

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THE LAYOUT PANEL

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ADJUSTING THE LEFT MARGIN WITH THE SCRUBBY SLIDER

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FIGURE 4.56. The Layout panel and margin adjustments.

ADJUSTING THE LEFT MARGIN BY DRAGGING THE MARGIN GUIDE

While you can make borderless prints, my general recommendation is to print with a margin of some width for conservation purposes. In this case, I’ve created a ¾-inch margin on all four sides.

If you’re printing a single image, the cell size is the equivalent of the image size in Photoshop. It lets you make the image on the print larger or smaller. It will always print only within the margins you set up above, but this allows you to precisely control the size of the printable cell. This is useful, particularly when you’re making multiple prints at once. Just set up the cell size and click Print.

The Guides panel

If you select Dimensions in the Guides panel, the physical dimensions and the native resolution of the image are displayed in the upper-left corner of the image itself. The width and height are displayed in three-decimal-point precision, because engineers are nothing if not precise. This image will print at 763 pixels per inch. If I select Print Resolution in the Print Job panel, the image dimensions remain, but the PPI goes away because Print Resolution resamples the image to the resolution entered in the entry field. Figure 4.57 shows the Guides panel with all the guides checked.

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THE GUIDES PANEL

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THE DISPLAY OF DIMENSIONS AND RESOLUTION ON THE PRINT DISPLAY

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CHECKING THE PRINT RESOLUTION OPTION IN THE PRINT JOB PANEL

FIGURE 4.57

FIGURE 4.57. The Guides panel with the Dimension guide checked.

THE DISPLAY OF DIMENSIONS ON THE PRINT DISPLAY

You can deselect Show Guides and they all go away. Then the image preview looks like a print hanging on a wall because it shows the image, the white margin of the paper, and a subtle drop shadow. It looks like a real print. While I’m actually working, though, I find it’s useful to keep Show Guides selected so I can see the rulers, margins, image cells, and gutters if the image breaks across two pages. By the way, you can change the background of the area around the print display by right-clicking in Windows (Control-click on the Mac) on the background. Figure 4.58 shows the context menu.

FIGURE 4.58

FIGURE 4.58. The context menu to change the Background Color.

The Page panel

In the Page panel, you can change the background color or tone for the page. If you select Page Background Color, the tone or color you select will be printed within the printable margin of the image. The only warning I’d give is that if you’re going to print a solid-color background, you’ll be using up a lot of ink. Also, if you want an absolute jet black background, it will use an enormous amount of ink and the paper may get a little wavy until the ink is dry.

You can also add an identity plate to the image. When Lightroom was first developed, the Lightroom engineers originally called these vanity plates, and the early betas showed your name in an image that looked like a license plate. But by the time they shipped the product, they’d switched to calling them identity plates. You can select an existing identity plate from the dropdown menu or click Edit to customize one. In the Identity Plate Editor dialog box, type in text and choose a font. You can also create a graphical identity plate, using an image you copy and paste into this space. Identity plate images can contain transparency, so you could copy a logo you’d done in Illustrator and saved as a PNG with transparency. (You could also use it anywhere else in Lightroom that uses identity plates, including slideshows and preparing images for the Web.) Figure 4.59 shows the addition of an Identity Plate to an image.

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THE IMAGE WITH THE IDENTITY PLATE BEING POSITIONED

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THE PAGE PANEL

FIGURE 4.59

FIGURE 4.59. Adding an Identity Plate to an image in the Page panel.

THE IDENTITY PLATE EDITOR (ACCESSED FROM THE TRIANGLE DROPDOWN MENU IN THE IDENTITY PLATE PREVIEW)

You can position the identity plate anywhere you want. To resize it, click and drag an edge or a corner and it will keep its proportion. You can override the text color: click Override Color and select a new color. I’ll drag my name to the center underneath the image and scale it to 30%. The Identity Plate is giving the appearance of an actual signature (sort of). You can also change the opacity. You can even render it behind the image, which I always thought was a cruel joke, because if it’s behind the image, you can’t see it, but it could come out from underneath the image depending on the design element you’re using.

The Page panel also gives you the option to add a watermark. If you’re providing proofs to people that you don’t want them to keep, you can add a copyright notice, which is what I have it set to by default. (To get the copyright symbol, press Option+G on the Mac. In Windows, press Alt+0169 on the numeric keyboard.) If you’ve saved watermarks, you can choose one; otherwise, choose Edit Watermarks from the pop-up menu. In the Watermark Editor, you can create a text watermark, customizing text options that include a shadow, radius, and angle, or place a graphic. You can control the watermark effect, including its opacity and size. The anchor point ensures that the watermark stays in the proper position even if you rotate or reposition the image. To save the watermark, click Save, and then name it. Figure 4.60 shows adding a watermark to the printed image.

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THE WATERMARK EDITOR

FIGURE 4.60

FIGURE 4.60. Adding and editing a watermark on the image.

THE WATERMARK ADDED TO THE IMAGE

You can print page numbers, which would be useful on a multipage contact sheet. If you select Page Info, Lightroom includes the sharpening setup, the profile saved relative to the soft proof, and the printer. You can also print crop marks at the corners. This can be useful with a picture package, especially if you need cutting guides.

The Photo Info option lets you print custom text or multiple metadata fields. The only problem that I have with Photo Info is that you don’t have any control over where it prints. It automatically defaults to be centered beneath the image. The only control you have is the font size, not even font colors or the font itself.

The Print Job panel

You can print to a printer or a JPEG file. Printing to a JPEG file lets you set up a custom layout, either a single or multi-image layout, with identity plates and page options, and then save that as a JPEG to send to a third-party printer. When you choose JPEG File from the Print To menu, the Print Job panel changes. You have options for file resolution, print sharpening, JPEG quality, custom file dimensions, and a color management profile, usually set to sRGB because most print labs unfortunately are not color-managed and request sRGB JPEGs. You also have Print Adjustment options, which I’ll address later in this section. Figure 4.61 shows the Print To dropdown menu and the Print Job panel when set to Printer and JPEG File.

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THE PRINT JOB PRINT TO MENU

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THE PRINT JOB PANEL SET TO PRINTER

FIGURE 4.61

FIGURE 4.61. The Print Job panel.

THE PRINT JOB PANEL SET TO JPEG FILE

When you choose JPEG File from the Print To menu, you have fewer options in the Print Job panel. Let’s go through them.

The Draft Mode Printing option uses the saved preview of the image, so printing is very fast. Lightroom already has previews and thumbnails of all the images, so if you print using the existing preview, you don’t need to re-rasterize the raw file. This is very useful if you’re creating a contact sheet, whether you’re printing one or saving it to PDF to send through email. When Draft Mode Printing is selected, the other options in the Print Job panel are dimmed. The contact sheet templates that come with Lightroom all select Draft Mode Printing.

You can use the Print Resolution setting to override the native resolution of the file, and then upsample or downsample. It uses Lightroom’s optimized interpolation method, as described in Chapter 3. I feel strongly about interpolation. In the next chapter, I’ll demonstrate why you’d want to upsample, which I also talked about in Chapter 3.

Note that when you select Print Resolution, the dimensions in the upper-left corner of the actual image no longer show the native resolution. That’s because you’re overriding the native resolution and resampling. I’ll keep it at 720 PPI, which is the maximum. It comes up with a little warning, and it tells you the higher resolution could cause memory issues on some printers. It’s really asking if you know what you’re doing. We do, so click OK.

The next option is Print Sharpening. As discussed in Chapter 3, if you know what you’re doing in the Develop module, use Standard here. If your sharpening settings were set at the default, use High. If you’ve oversharpened, use Low. This is something you’ll just have to test to convince yourself that this stuff really does work very well.

For Media Type, choose Glossy for anything that has a sheen or is a coated paper. If you’re printing to matte, watercolor, or fine art paper, generally speaking, choose Matte. The sharpening is different because the paper itself has an impact on the way detail is rendered. Through testing, the Lightroom engineers and I have optimized this. In fact, Adobe licensed the output sharpening routines from PhotoKit to include in the Lightroom and Camera Raw print modules, so I feel pretty good about them.

On the Mac, you can select 16 Bit Output. In Windows, you cannot. I discussed the benefits earlier so I won’t dwell on it here.

In the Color Management section (shown in Figure 4.62), if you choose Managed by Printer, Lightroom will just send the data tagged with its internal RGB space—the ProPhoto RGB color coordinates but with linear gamma—to the printer. There are a couple of reasons you may want to use this option. If you’re using the Epson Advanced Black & White mode, you want the printer to manage color, because the Advanced Black and White mode is a component of the printer driver and lets you control how the color image is printed in black and white.

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THE PROFILE DROPDOWN MENU

FIGURE 4.62

FIGURE 4.62. The Color Management section.

THE CHOOSE PROFILES DIALOG BOX

However, if you’re printing color or a color image with monochromatic toning or split toning, select the profile that is correct for the printer and the paper you’re using. In Lightroom, you can control what profiles you actually see in the dropdown menu. To add profiles, click Other, and the Choose Profiles dialog box displays every single RGB color profile that is installed on your system. I have a lot because I’ve got so many printers. The Choose profiles dialog box shows RGB profiles, but Lightroom won’t display or use CMYK profiles or grayscale profiles. If you want to see display profiles, select Include Display Profiles at the bottom of the dialog box, then just click the check box next to each profile you want to display. If you’re printing to JPEG, you’ll always have the option of selecting your profile, regardless of what is displayed in the main color management dropdown menu.

Now you can select the rendering intent. This is something you’ve already determined in the soft proofing. Selecting one or the other will have no impact on the preview in the print module; you should have already determined which will work best for your image.

The last section in the Print Job panel is Print Adjustment, which is Thomas Knoll’s answer to the age-old problem “Why do my prints look so dark?” Many people have a problem with a computer display that pumps out 200 cd/m2 (candelas per meter squared). Computer displays are so bright that the image is brighter on the display than under the viewing light, so your print ends up looking dark. If you have a proper viewing environment, which I talked about in Chapter 2 and showed the results of in Chapter 3, the image on your display and the image on the print should match under the viewing light. However, if you don’t have a proper viewing environment, you can adjust Brightness and Contrast here. People were complaining, and Thomas Knoll said, “Let’s just put a gamma adjuster in the print module so people can make the changes right there without going back and adjusting image settings.” Color management folks were aghast, but this is actually a very elegant solution.

If you have a consistent problem with your images coming out dark, you can use the Brightness slider to adjust how the image is handled without messing around with your profile or image settings. The Brightness slider is literally a gamma adjustment, moving the midpoint lighter or darker. As you move the slider to the plus side, say +50, it’s brighter by 50 units, but those units don’t translate to anything—it’s just an arbitrary unit. The differences are actually quite subtle. Moving the slider to 10 is barely visible, 30 is noticeable, and over 50 it’s a strong adjustment. Test your assumptions in print, though, because you get no feedback from these sliders in the preview on the screen.

The Contrast slider gives you a simple S-curve contrast adjustment. You can’t decrease it, only increase it. Figure 4.63 shows the result of modifying the output by altering the Print Adjustment settings.

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THE IMAGE PRINTED WITHOUT PRINT ADJUSTMENTS

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FIGURE 4.63

FIGURE 4.63. Comparing results using the Print Adjustment sliders.

I recommend setting up your computer display and viewing environment so that the white you see on your computer and on the paper in your print visually match, so you won’t have to worry about print adjustments. However, the adjustment sliders are definitely helpful if you know you’re printing for a specific condition, such as dim home lighting. This is something to test on your own. If you make prints for sale, you can make prints that are designed for a good viewing environment, such as a proper home display, or for a dim home display. You can use the brightness and contrast adjustments to alter the final output based on the display conditions.

The Preview panel

As I mentioned earlier, the Preview panel shows you the configuration of cells on the page. If you hover your cursor over a template, its configuration shows up in the Preview panel so you can quickly see how it’s set up. Since I’m usually working with a single image, I hide the Preview panel so the entire left column is available for the Template Browser and Collections panels. Roll over the Lightroom Templates and see the preview for yourself!

The Template Browser panel

The Template Browser panel contains a variety of templates that come with Lightroom, as well as any user templates you’ve created. The use of templates is one of the major reasons I love printing from Lightroom. When, not under pressure, I can create a template for the standard way I like to print, including the margins, sizes, sharpening, print resolution, color management—all captured in the template. That way I can select a template, click Print, and then make the print quickly without worrying about selecting each setting correctly. The other thing that’s cool is if you have a bunch of images selected in the film strip, you can just click the template you want to use and click Print. If you have ten images selected, you’ll have ten printed. You don’t have to open them image by image, or fiddle with dialog boxes for drivers and print setups, as you would in Photoshop, where you have to open each one and set the settings and hit Print ten times. Figure 4.64 shows my tidy Template Browser with folders of templates for my printers. I don’t really like storing a bunch of loose templates in the default User Templates folder.

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FIGURE 4.64. The Template Browser panel.

To create a user template, set up the right-panel parameters the way you want them, and also choose your page setup and print settings. Then click the Plus button at the top of the Template Browser panel and give your new template a meaningful name. You can click and hold down the Folder button—either just add it to User Templates or create a new folder. I like to create a new folder for each printer’s templates. Figure 4.65 shows clicking the Create New Preset (meaning template) button, naming a new template, and the New Folder dialog box accessed in the Folder dropdown menu of the New Template dialog box.

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THE CREATE NEW PRESET BUTTON

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THE NEW TEMPLATE DIALOG BOX

FIGURE 4.65

FIGURE 4.65. Making a new template.

THE NEW FOLDER DIALOG BOX

When you select a template, the chosen template is highlighted so you know that all of the right-side parameters and the page setup and printer driver settings are as they were when the template was created. You are free to modify any of the settings on the fly. If you do, the template that you started from is dimmed (although any unchanged parameters are still preserved). If you want to change the template to include any newly updated parameters, right-click in Windows (Control-click on the Mac) the template you want to update. Figure 4.66 shows the active template highlighted, the template dimmed (because of a changed parameter), and the context menu to update the template.

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THE ACTIVE TEMPLATE HIGHLIGHTED

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THE TEMPLATE WITH CHANGED PARAMETERS

FIGURE 4.66

FIGURE 4.66. Updating a template.

THE CONTEXT MENU TO UPDATE THE TEMPLATE

To update a template, select it and make a change in any of the settings. Once you’ve made a change from the saved state of the template, the template is dimmed. Right-click (Windows) or Option-click (on the Mac) the template, and then choose Update With Current Settings. The changes you’ve made are saved in the existing template.

The context menu also lets you rename the template, delete it, or import or export templates. Importing templates is useful if you’re updating from an earlier version of Lightroom.

You can make changes without saving them to a template, too. You can use the template as a starting point, and then adjust settings on the fly for an individual print or set of prints. You can also save a new template with the slightly different settings.

The Collections panel

The Collections panel lists all your saved collections. You create collections in the main library, which is a great way to collect a bunch of images. I’ve got a collection called Prints, which is inside a Collection Set named TDP-collection (the TDP stands for the title of this book). I’ve got a collection of images that have all been prepared for printing. Figure 4.67 shows my Prints collection.

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FIGURE 4.67. My Prints collection.

The Collections panel lets you select any of your saved collections from the main part of the library. Note that you’ll need to create and save collections in the Library module of Lightroom. All you can do in the Print module is select a collection and an image from the filmstrip. To further extend the usefulness of Collection, you can, however, create what is called a Saved Print collection from within your library created collection.

Creating a saved print collection

Everything I’ve talked about so far is about printing a single one-off print or contact sheet. You may have noticed the words Unsaved Print in the image window; that indicates it’s a single-image print setup with a specific template, but it’s not saved anywhere. But Lightroom will create a saved print collection when you click Create Saved Print above the right side of the image window. In the Create Print dialog box, you can name it and control where it appears in a collection. Figure 4.68 shows the Unsaved Print indicator and the Create Saved Print button.

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THE UNSAVED PRINT INDICATOR

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FIGURE 4.68. The Unsaved Print indicator and the Create Saved Print button.

THE CREATE SAVED PRINT BUTTON

The Create Print dialog box offers some options to use while making a new creation (Figure 4.69). You can choose Make New Virtual Copies. You may want to go in on an image-by-image basis to change things such as cropping, for example, for a specific print show or for standard pre-cut mats. Then you’d definitely want to make new virtual copies. The Include Only Used Photos option is more useful in the Book module. If you select Set As Target Collection, anytime you go to a saved creation in the collections panel, the same group of images will be available automatically.

FIGURE 4.69

FIGURE 4.69. The Create Print dialog.

After selecting the options you want, click Create. Notice that where the Prints name was just a single entry in the Prints collection in Figure 4.67, now it appears as a hierarchical menu (Figure 4.70). It shows that 58 of the 116 images were selected as shown in Figure 4.70. If I need to add or subtract images from the Saved Print creation, I can add or delete them from the Library module. The saved creation is really saving a collection of the images and attaching them to a group. It’s an enormous time-saver if you have to do this on a regular basis. For example, a photographer can save a print portfolio this way, and then easily add new images to the print show creation or take images out, always ready to print a new portfolio.

FIGURE 4.70

FIGURE 4.70. The saved Print creation.

The Toolbar

Below the image window, you have a toolbar. If you hit the T key, it goes away. From the Use menu, you can choose Selected Photos, All Filmstrip Photos, or Flagged Photos. Be careful that you don’t select All Filmstrip Photos unless you absolutely know how many are in the filmstrip and that you want to print them all, or you may end up with hundreds or thousands of photos printed. I always choose Selected Photos so I know I’ll get the photos I’ve chosen. Flagged photos are photos you’ve marked in the Library. Figure 4.71 shows the main Toolbar and the Use dropdown menu.

04fig71b.jpg

FIGURE 4.71. The Toolbar (upper center) with filmstrip and the Use dropdown menu.

THE USE MENU

Printing

Lightroom for the Mac has two buttons at the bottom of the left pane: Page Setup and Print Settings. We’ve already looked at the Page Setup dialog box. The Print Settings dialog box gives you the Print dialog box with the same basic options you had in Photoshop. Figure 4.72 shows the Mac Page Setup and Print dialog boxes.

FIGURE 4.72

FIGURE 4.72. The Page Setup and Print dialog boxes.

PRINT

In Windows, there’s just one button: Page Setup. Clicking that button opens the Print dialog box. Click Properties to see printer-specific settings, as shown in Figure 4.73.

FIGURE 4.73

FIGURE 4.73. The Windows printer Properties dialog box.

After you’ve set everything up, if you click the Print button in the toolbar, Lightroom sends the image to the printer in the configuration you have set up. No additional dialog box is necessary. However, if you click Printer in the toolbar, you’ll see the standard operating system Print dialog box so you can control the printer features.

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