November 26, 2009

Lightroom tip: Quick batch resizing for print output

Why do I work at Adobe? Mainly so I can walk down the hall to browbeat people for tech support in person. ;-)

90-plus percent of the photos I share go only online, so when cropping I tend not to worry about standard print sizes. Just now, though, I wanted to upload a bunch of 4×6 shots for printing at my parents’ Walmart. This, I figured, meant going through all the images one by one in Lightroom, checking to see if a crop had been applied, then applying a new 4×6 crop as needed. Not the end of the world (especially with virtual copies), but not good fun.

Fortunately Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty sits down the hall from me, and he offered a better suggestion:

  • Use Lightroom’s print module to set up a 4×6 page preset, zeroing out the margins
  • Turn on the “Zoom to Fill” and “Rotate to Fit” options
  • Position each image as desired (sliding it within the crop frame)
  • Print to JPEG

I hit a bit of a snag at first, not realizing I needed to use Page Setup to create a 4×6 page preset with zero margins. Once that was done, however, things worked great.

Here’s a preset I created based on the settings I used. I haven’t tried it on other machines, so if you try it and hit snags, please let me know.

Posted by John Nack at 7:22 AM on November 26, 2009

Comments

  • Sean McCormack — 8:16 AM on November 26, 2009

    You could also use Custom File Dimensions in Print job, set to 6in X 4in.

  • Jeff Phillips — 8:42 AM on November 26, 2009

    If there are ever any openings at Adobe, especially if they are near the software engineers offices, please post them on your blog first. I’d guess there are several folks who follow the blog that would apply for the same reason you did…

  • Jim Camelford — 10:29 AM on November 26, 2009

    Great technique. But if the images are already cropped, then your slide within the 4×6 in print is “after” the 1st crop.
    So, to get back to the originals you might have to post them to a collection as VC’s, [SYNC] to delete any crops and then you can adjust the crop in print relative to the original image.
    Very appropriate technique since we’re about to do 300 4×6 School Santa/Snowmen picx as a fundraiser…..

  • David A Rogers — 7:01 PM on November 26, 2009

    I didn’t have any problems with the template John. Thanks. Mac OSX 10.5.8
    Seans solution also works well regardless of the paper size setup.
    I did a quick test against exporting at the same 4×6 dimensions with same ppi value and was interested to see that the “print” files were smaller.

  • David A Rogers — 7:05 PM on November 26, 2009

    I didn’t have any problems with the template John. Thanks. Mac OSX 10.5.8
    Seans solution also works well regardless of the paper size setup.
    I did a quick test against exporting at the same 4×6 dimensions with same ppi value and was interested to see that the “print” files were smaller.

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