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Multiple Image Printing in Photoshop

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On the face of it, printing in Photoshop is a simple process. You simply choose File > Print with Preview, click a couple of options, and you're done. So far, so good. But what happens when you need to print multiple copies of an image or you want different sizes for all your relatives? Suddenly things aren't so simple. To clear things up, Helen Bradley explains the ins and outs of multiple image printing in this hands-on article. You'll learn how to print one image (or many) several times on one sheet of paper using the built-in Photoshop Picture Package tool. You'll also discover why Contact Sheets might be your tool of choice in some scenarios.

On the face of it, printing in Photoshop is a simple process. You simply choose File > Print with Preview, click a couple of options, and you’re done. So far, so good. But what happens when you need to print multiple copies of an image on a sheet of paper—such as a sheet of wallet-size prints of your kids? Or what if you have a few favorite photos that you want to print as 4x6-inch prints—but on letter-size photo paper? All of a sudden, things aren’t so simple.

You’re about to discover that Photoshop doesn’t make multiple image printing particularly easy. In this article, I’ll explain the ins and outs of multiple image printing, and you’ll learn how to print one image (or many) several times on one sheet of paper using the built-in Photoshop Picture Package tool. You’ll also learn why Contact Sheets might be your tool of choice in some scenarios.

Doing It the Hard Way

Many Photoshop users solve the multiple image printing problem by assembling the images by hand. To do this, create a new document using File > New, set the page size to 8x10 to allow margins around the page for printing, configure the resolution to your preferred printer resolution (for example, 300 pixels per inch), set the mode to RGB Color, and click OK.

Open the images to print and select each in turn by clicking the image to make it active and choosing Select > All. Choose Edit > Copy Merged to copy all layers, not just the current one. Click the new image and choose Edit > Paste. Your copied image appears on a new layer, and you can size it by Ctrl+clicking on the layer thumbnail (Command+clicking on the Mac. Click the Move tool, drag it to the desired size, and move it into position.

To add additional copies of this same image, right-click the layer in the layer palette, choose Duplicate layer and click OK. Size and move this image into position and repeat to fill the page. You can rotate one or more images 90 degrees if they fit better on the page that way (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1 It is possible to print one image multiple times on a page by assembling multiple copies of the image manually into a new document.

To fill the page with different images, copy and paste each of them into the page; then size and move them into position. When you’re done, print the page by choosing File > Print with Preview.

Although this method works, it requires more effort from you than is typically necessary.

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