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Printing Multiple Photos on One Page in Lightroom 2

Scott Kelby shows you how to use Lightroom 2's Picture Package feature, which allows you to print the same photo at different sizes on one page.
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Printing Multiple Photos on One Page

You saw earlier in this chapter how to print the same photo, at the same exact size, multiple times on the same print. But what if you want to print the same photo at different sizes (like a 5×7″ and four wallet sizes)? That’s when you want to use Lightroom’s Picture Package feature (it’s new in Lightroom 2).

Step One. Start by clicking on the photo you want to have appear multiple times, in multiple sizes, on the same page. Go to the Template Browser in the left side Panels area and click on the built-in template named (1) 4×6, (6) 2×3, which gives you the layout you see here. If you look over in the Layout Engine panel at the top of the right side Panels area, you’ll see that the engine running this feature is Picture Package (as seen circled here in red).

Step Two. If you look at the Preview area in Step One, you can see that, by default, it puts a little white border around each photo. If you don’t want the white border, go to the Image Settings panel and turn off the Photo Border checkbox (as shown here). Also, by default, the Zoom to Fill checkbox is turned on, so your photo is cropped in a little bit. If you don’t want your photo cropped like that, turn the Zoom to Fill checkbox off.

Step Three. Another option it has on by default is that it puts a black stroke around each image (you can control the size of this stroke, using the Width slider right below the Inner Stroke checkbox). To remove this stroke, turn off the Inner Stroke checkbox (as shown here. You’ll still see a thin stroke that separates the images, but does not print). Now your images are back to their original cropping, they’re right up against each other (there’s no extra white border), and you’ve removed the black stroke around the photos (by the way, if you like this layout, don’t forget to save it as your own custom template by clicking on the + [plus sign] button on the right side of the Template Browser header).

Step Four. Adding more photos is easy—just go to the Cells panel (in the right side Panels area) and you’ll see a number of pill-shaped buttons marked with different sizes. Just click on any one of those to add a photo that size to your layout (I clicked on the 2×2.5 button, and it added the new cell you see selected here). So, that’s the routine: you click on those buttons to add more photos to your Picture Package layout. To delete a cell, just click on it, then press the Delete (PC: Backspace) key on your keyboard.

Step Five. If you want to create your own custom Picture Package layout from scratch, go to the Cells panels and click on the Clear Layout button (as shown here), which removes all the cells, so you can start from scratch.

Step Six. Now you can just start clicking on sizes, and Lightroom will place them on the page each time you click one of those Add to Package buttons (as shown here). As you can see, it doesn’t always place the photos in the optimum location for the page dimensions, but Lightroom can actually fix that for you.

Step Seven. If you click on the Auto Layout button, at the bottom of the Add to Package section (as shown here), it tries to automatically arrange the photos so they fit more logically, and gives you extra space to add more photos. Okay, hit the Clear Layout button and let’s start from scratch again, so I can show you another handy feature.

Step Eight. If you add so many cells that they can’t fit on one page, Lightroom automatically adds new pages to accommodate your extra cells. For example, start by adding an 8×10, then add a 5×7 (which can’t fit on the same letter-sized page), and it automatically creates a new page for you with the 5×7. Now add another 5×7 (so you have two-up), then a 2×2.5 (which won’t fit on the same page), and it will add yet another page. Pretty smart, eh? (By the way, I think this “automatically do the obvious thing” is a big step forward in software development. In the past, if something like this happened, wouldn’t you have expected to see a dialog pop up that said, “This cell cannot fit on the page. Would you like to add an additional page?”) Also, if you decide you want to add another blank page yourself, just click on the New Page button that appears below the Add to Package buttons.

Step Nine. If you want to delete a page added by Lightroom, just hover your cursor over the page you want to delete, and a little red X appears over the top-left corner (as seen here, on the third page). Click on that X and the page is deleted. Now, on the page with the two 5×7s, click on each of the 5×7s, press the Delete (PC: Backspace) key to remove them, and then go and turn on the Zoom to Fill checkbox up in the Image Settings panel.

Step 10. You can also manually adjust the size of each cell (which is a handy way to crop your photos on the fly, if you have Zoom to Fill turned on). For example, go ahead and add two 3×7 cells on this second (now empty) page, which gives you a tall, thin, cropped image. Click on the bottom image (to bring up the adjustment handles around the cell), then click-and-drag the bottom handle upward to make the cell thinner (as seen here). You can get the same effect by clicking-and-dragging the Adjust Selected Cell sliders, at the bottom of the Cells panel (there are sliders for both Height and Width). There’s only one real downside, and that is you can’t have different photos at these different sizes—it has to be the same photo repeated for each different size (interestingly enough, this Picture Package feature was borrowed from Photoshop, but Photoshop actually does let you use different photos in your cells, not just one repeated).

Step 11. If you do want different images to appear in each cell (as shown here), you’ll need to use the standard Contact Sheet/Grid feature in the Layout Engine panel. Start by selecting the photos you want in the filmstrip (in this case, you’d need to click on four photos, since there are four cells), then go to the Template Browser, and from the built-in templates, click on 4 Wide. Once the photos appear in their cells, you can reposition them inside the cells by clicking-and-dragging right on the photos themselves (if you look at the top photo here, you’ll see my cursor has changed into a Grabber Hand, which you use to reposition the image inside the cell).

Step 12. You can actually get the same photo repeated on a page (and in the exact same size) using the Contact Sheet/Grid layout engine. Using the same 4 Wide template, click on the photo you want repeated in all four cells, then go to the Image Settings panel in the right side Panels area and turn on the Repeat One Photo Per Page checkbox, as shown here. Now that one photo will be repeated in all the cells.

Step 13. I use this Repeat One Photo Per Page technique for artistic looks. Here’s a layout I created (with the layout settings shown in the Layout panel here). If you want to create this same layout (and save it as a custom template), first change the page setup to Landscape (by clicking on the Page Setup button at the bottom of the left side Panels area), then go to the Layout panel, and in the Page Grid section, choose 1 for Rows and 5 for Columns. Down at the bottom of the panel, in the Cell Size section, turn on the checkbox for Keep Square to get the perfectly square cells you see here. I have the space between each photo (the Horizontal Cell Spacing slider) set to 0.15 inches, but depending on the size of the paper you’ll be printing on, you might have to make this larger or smaller. I also added my Identity Plate (created with some text in Photoshop using the font Trajan Pro, which I put over a scan of my signature with the layer opacity lowered to around 10%) by turning on the Identity Plate checkbox in the Overlays panel.

Step 14. In this layout, I only changed three things: I lowered the number of Columns to 3 (as seen in the Layout panel here), changed the Horizontal Cell Spacing to 0.67 inches, and then up in the Image Settings panel, I turned off the Repeat One Photo Per Page checkbox, so I was able to use three different photos, instead of having that one photo repeat itself in all the cells.

Step 15. Let’s take that same layout and tweak it just a bit for an entirely different look. First, change the page setup to Portrait. Then, in the Layout panel’s Page Grid section, change the number of Rows to 2, and the number of Columns to 2 (you may have to tweak your margins and cell spacing), and you’ve got this new layout (if you like it, don’t forget to save it as your own custom template in the Template Browser). Also, once you save that, try creating a layout with 3 Rows and 3 Columns, for a nine-photo grid.

Step 16. Now let’s turn off the Keep Square feature, and go with a tall, thin layout using six selected photos (go to the Layout panel and turn off the Keep Square checkbox at the bottom of the panel). Change the page setup back to Landscape. In the Page Grid section, set the number of Rows to 1 and the number of Columns to 6. In the Margins section, set the Bottom slider to 1.76 inches, so it moves all six photos in the cells up closer to the top of the page, and change your Horizontal Cell Spacing to 0.13 inches. Then click-and-drag your Identity Plate down below the photos (as seen here; if it is rotated, you can click on the degrees to the right of the Identity Plate checkbox, and choose No Rotation). So, there are a few layout ideas to get your creative juices flowing, now that you know how to create your own custom multi-photo layouts.

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