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.

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