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Multiple Image Printing the Smart Way

Photoshop’s multiple image printing tool is buried deep in its menus, making it hard to find if you don’t know it’s there. To use the tool, choose File > Automate > Picture Package. The Picture Package dialog box opens with the currently selected image (called the Foremost Document) selected as the source document. Select your desired page size from the dropdown list—an 8x10-inch page size should print at full size on letter paper, allowing for the printer margins.

Select the resolution at which you want the images to print from the Resolution area in the dialog box.

The Layout drop-down list offers a range of standard configurations for the page. For example, the (2)4x5, (8)2x2.5 option will fit two 4x5-inch images and eight 2x2.5-inch images on an 8x10-inch page (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2 The Picture Package dialog box offers a range of layout options for fitting one image multiple times onto a page.

If you check the Flatten All Layers checkbox in the Picture Package dialog box, the final image created by Photoshop is reduced to a single layer. If you do not check this box, the image will be composed of individual layers, each containing one picture, enabling you to edit the images further before printing if desired.

When you click OK, Photoshop creates a new image and copies the selected image into the new one, sizing it appropriately, and creating multiple copies as required. In fact, it does all the work you would do if you were to create the document manually.

In addition to printing the currently selected image, you can also select an image from disc by selecting File from the Source Images list and click Browse to browse and locate the image to use. When you open the image, it will appear in the currently selected layout and in any other layout you choose.

When the ratio of your image’s height to its width does not match that of the photo sizes you have chosen in the layout, the image will be printed at the largest possible size without any cropping. So you won’t lose any of your image, but you might get a printed image that is smaller on one dimension than the actual size specified (see Figure 3). Somewhat confusingly, the onscreen image won’t always correctly identify which dimension will be the smaller one.

Figure 3

Figure 3 This image is square, so its width-to-height ratio doesn’t match the specified photo sizes; because the photo can’t be cropped, it will print smaller than the requested sizes.

You can also print a folder of images by selecting the Folder option from the Source Images area of the dialog box. In this case, click Browse to locate the folder of images to use. Each image prints on one sheet of paper multiple times.

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