Picture package prints incorrect sized prints

MR
Posted By
Michael Rosen
Aug 19, 2003
Views
338
Replies
22
Status
Closed
I tried to print a package using the template that includes 2 4×5 (why not 4×6?) and 8 2.5×3 (I may be off on the latter dimensions). When I went to cut the sheet I noticed that one of the photos was actually measuring 3.5×5. Why is it shrinking my photos? I thought Elements would be a better alternative than Microsoft’s built-in print utility.

Thanks,
Mike
P
Phosphor
Aug 19, 2003
Michael,

Why not 4×6? Because 4×5 is a standard print size. However, you may make your own custom layout with 4x6s if you so desire.

Your 3.5×5 image happened because Elements won’t guess and crop the image for you. It will adjust the image to the maximum size that will fit entirely within the template rectangle. That will leave white space if the proportions of the image don’t match the proportions of the image template. If you want an exact match, you’ll need to crop the image to the template proportions before printing.

Bob
PD
Pete D
Aug 19, 2003
Michael,

This should give you 3 4 X 6’s on a page.

I 8.5 11
(3)4×6
0.2 0 4 6
4.4 0 4 6
0.5 6.5 6 4

Copy this in to Windows Notepad and name it (three four by sixes) then either save to layouts folder or save to somewhere else and drag into layout folder. (C:/Program files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements/Presets/Layouts)

When using this don’t forget to set the page size as 8 1/2 X 11 right after opening the picture package or you will not see it on the default 8X10 list.

Pete
PD
Pete D
Aug 20, 2003
Mike,

I believe the 3 4×6’s is something added to the package. It has been so long I could be wrong but I think it was not part of the package.

Pete
MR
Michael Rosen
Aug 20, 2003
Thanks Pete, that worked great. How do you program those layouts?
PD
Pete D
Aug 20, 2003
Mike,

Guess I should clarify a bit further. The presets in the 8×10 are for use with 8 1/2 X 11 paper. This allows for a small margin that a lot of inkjet printers require. But the "picture packages" that are there could just as well have been made under 8X10 1/2 page size package and either could be printed on 8 1/2 X 11 paper. Make sense? Hope I am explaining this correctly. Post again if not clear.

Pete
PD
Pete D
Aug 20, 2003
Mike,

They are very simple .txt files that you can just "write" in "notepad" and then save. You can double click the existing ones and they should open in Notepad and you can see what they look like. To find them open My computer and then double click on C: / then program files / Adobe / Photoshop Elements / Presets / Layouts. Double click any of them and you will understand them a bit better I think.

There is a pretty good explanation of how to create new sizes in the help section too.

Pete
PD
Pete D
Aug 20, 2003
Mike,

Yeah! You are doing good. Glad you found those instructions in the help section.

When you have an 8X10 and want to print 4X6’s you should first resize the picture so that it is correct proportion to produce 4X6. (you can probably see the 8X10 will make a 4X5 OR an 4.8X6)

So first resize and make the 10 inch dimension 6. (The other dimension will be 4.8 automatically). Now click on the crop tool and make the dimensions for cropping 6 and 4 (set these just above the picture on the left). Click and drag on the picture with the crop tool and the shaded area will be cropped if you "accept" with the check mark above the picture. You can move the "selected area around using the arrow keys to get just the area selected that you want. Now after selecting "accept" you will be able to print the 4X6’s.

You can also crop using the rectangular selection tool. Others will post and say that is their preference… to use that tool. Try it both ways and decide which you like best.

Pete
PD
Pete D
Aug 20, 2003
Mike,

I was under the impression that if I kept my image at the largest
resolution I would get better quality prints at lower print sizes. I didn’t think I would have to still crop the images in order to get them to print correctly.<<<

If a picture is "oversized" (proportionately) on one dimension for the size selected in the print package it is going to get cropped.

Try this; take a picture that is 10X15 (resize one to this if you don’t have one) and with a sharp brush paint (one click at about 50 brush size) a dot on all four sides right at the edge of the picture about in the centers. Use a contrasting bright color (red) so you can see it easily. Save it. Now open picture package and insert the picture in a 2 5X7’s format. You will see that the bottom of the picture has been cropped and your red dot has a flat bottom.

So it is really best to select what gets cropped yourself before inserting in to the picture package and allowing the program to decide.

I’ve used the crop tool frequently and always struggled with losing
content. Then I spoke with a friend for advice and he told me I should only crop for content and not for size. But maybe resizing to close to the correct dimensions (i.e. 8×10 or 4×6) and then cropping off the fractional dimensions will work. I was afraid I would lose part of the picture otherwise.<<<

If you need a portion of the picture cropped to make it proportionately correct to fit a fixed sized frame, like the 5X7 in picture package, there is no way to easily achieve it without loosing part of the original picture.

That being said; you can resize the canvas to correct proportunate size and then "clone" or otherwise enlarge the side that is "short". (copy and paste; add something else like a thick bottom border).

So, are you saying that once I’ve got the image resized to the proper
dimensions that picture package should retain the correct size? So, if I were to have an original at 8×10 and attempt to print 4×5 prints it would work?<<<

Yes!

p.s. If I were to just upload these to a photo service in the original
odd dimensions would they end up just distorting the picture anyway in their attempt to fit it to a 4×6, 5×7, etc.?<<<

I do not have first hand knowledge but yes, the image would Have to be cropped if not in proportion to finished print size. If you give it to them out of proportion they will decide what gets cropped 🙁 I would have to believe that no image gets distorted to achieve correct proportions but if they do it manually….who knows.

OK, Now that you have that down and If you have not followed the threads on pixels and print sizes do a forum search on that because that will be the next area of questions that you will develop… I think anyway. And either you did not mention or I forgot; You are saving these files as either PSD of Tiff and at least 250 ppi right?

Pete
NS
Nancy S
Aug 21, 2003
Michael,

My suggestion would be to create a folder on your hard drive in which to put the images right off your scanner. Consider these your originals, as if they were your film negatives and never edit these files. These are your untouched, pristine scanned images and you will be glad some day that you have unaltered files. When you want to work on one of those images, just make a copy of one (duplicate) and open it in PSE to edit.

You can print an image out at any size you wish, remember (assuming that you have enough pixels for a quality printout). You are not limited to using the Package or standard sizes. The ‘standard’ sizes just make it easier to find a ready-made frame to fit. If your images are for an album with full sheet pages, standardization goes out the window. Sending your files out to be printed will involve standard sizes, but if you print yourself…any size. I believe what your friend/advisor was trying to convey was to crop out material which detracts from your subject. Figure what is the important part of the image in terms of composition. Remember the Rule of Thirds. (visually appealing to place the subject at an intersection created by imaging your pic as a grid of 3 x 3)

Nancy
MR
Michael Rosen
Aug 21, 2003
Pete,

And either you did not mention or I forgot; You are saving these files
as either PSD of Tiff and at least 250 ppi right?<<<

Actually, no, I’m saving as JPG at 300 ppi. What’s the difference? Is JPG only good for uploading and sharing in email?

Thanks,
Mike
PD
Pete D
Aug 21, 2003
Actually, no, I’m saving as JPG at 300 ppi. What’s the difference? Is JPG
only good for uploading and sharing in email?

Mike,

You will find that most users are now saving first as PSD or Tiff and then if they want to e mail or save to floppy disk save also as a jpg copy.

The jpg is a "lossy" format and the compression that takes place when saving does alter pixels. Extensive photo editing also has a degrading effect on the quality of a jpg photo. How much is a long debatable subject.

So unless disk space is a real big issue, always use PSD or Tiff. And even if space is an issue consider a new hard drive or CD burner.

Pete
R
Rina
Aug 21, 2003
Pete, I’ve been experimenting with picture packages…. I tried your layout. It didn’t give me a 4×6 print (it shrunk a bit)

This morning I did some more reading… In the manual it says that the first line should only be the actual printable area of your page. Your file might work with printers that will print to the edge of the page, but some don’t. (mine doesn’t)

I like the way your file looks in the print preview (with the white space around the pictures) but in order to get 2, 4 inch wide pictures on a page and allow for the non printable area of the page (8") they have to touch each other. I left the 3rd picture at the edge to facilitate cutting…

This is the file that I came up with: (copy the next 5 lines, paste them into notepad,
save as (fourBy Sixes.text) paste into (C:/Program files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements/Presets/Layouts)

I 8 10
(3) 4×6
0 0 6 4
0 4 4 6
4 4 4 6

When you open the picture package select 8×10 and the 3 4×6’s will be added to the package.

Rina
P
Prov
Aug 22, 2003
I ran into this same problem. The solution is to crop to the size of the biggest picture that will be in your picture package. IE: if you are printing a 5×7 and a bunch of wallets, you must crop to a 5×7, and then select the picture package you want to print and it will then print out just fine!
MR
Michael Rosen
Aug 23, 2003
You will find that most users are now saving first as PSD or Tiff and then if they want to e mail or save to floppy disk save also as a jpg copy.

So, would you then recommend that I scan directly into Elements vs. using my scanner’s one-touch button? Doing the latter opens up the scanner s/w and saves to a jpg by default.

Thanks,
Mike
MR
Michael Rosen
Aug 23, 2003
File>Import>Twain

Well, I don’t have "Twain" listed, but I recall that’s just a type of technology? Among others, my scanner is listed (hp psc 2200 series), along with another version of it beginning with "WIA." I get better control (I can see the selection size, etc.) with the former, which opens HP’s scanner software.

Most of my pictures are taken with a digital camera (PowerShot S400) so I’m not always scanning my pictures. Those are saved on the Compact Flash as jpg by default, but I take them at the highest resolution and quality.

Thanks,
Mike
P
Phosphor
Aug 23, 2003
Mike, I went through this thread rather quickly, but I believe it came out somewhere along the line that you’re maintaining your images in JPEG format. Is that correct?

JPEG is, indeed, recommended for e-mailing and web purposes, and it also makes a compact format for storage when people have limits on disk space. However, JPEG is also a lossy format. That means that each time you open, edit, and save changes to an image in JPEG, some of the original image data is lost. If you make moderate changes, you won’t really notice the degradation, but should you ever work on one image repeatedly, it wouldn’t take long before the quality would begin to suffer.

I think it would be safe to say that all of us forum regulars have forced ourselves into the habit of converting every JPEG file into either PSD or TIFF format immediately after an image hits our hard drive. We do usually keep the original JPEGs (just in case we screw something up royally and want to go back to square one!), but we use one of the non-lossy formats for our work. "Work" could be editing, or it could just be resizing. TIFFs and PSDs also allow you to save layers that might have been used in editing the photo, and JPEG doesn’t have that capability.

If all you ever do is take digital pictures, crop them slightly and print them out, you’ll do fine in JPEG. Same with scans. However, if you ever decide to "move on" and begin to do much editing, keep the downside of the JPEG format in mind. We can’t force people to "do it our way", but we always feel an obligation to make sure they’re aware of the pitfalls! 🙂
NS
Nancy S
Aug 24, 2003
Michael,

Same thing really, with my Epsons I have the Twain listing with your HP you have your scanner listed…whatever…the point being to access your scanner from within PSE and your scanned image will be delivered to your workarea upon closure of your scanning s/w.

I also would recommend that you follow the same advice for your images from your digital camera. You will probably want to revisit them at a later date and it would be a shame if they were unrecoverably altered or degraded due to saving in a lossy format.
JM
Joyce McCowin
Aug 25, 2003
This is my first time to use this program and can’t figure out how to customize picture package layouts. The picture I’ve been working with prints with no white between the middle pictures and acts like on picture if I try to move individual pictures. At some point I would like to print photos of various sizes on the same sheet of phot paper. In the directions I printed, it "You can customize existing layouts or create new layouts using a test-editing aplication." I don’t understand how to do that. The numbers in a row are totally "Greek" to me. I guess I just need HELP!
JF
Jodi Frye
Aug 26, 2003
Ya I never use the picture package…alot of us don’t. Beth’s method is the way to go ! Lots of room to play !
JY
judy_yoakum
Oct 21, 2003
Help! I’m trying to print custom layouts on 8×10 pages. I’ve tried the drag and drop method with the Move tool – resized the photos and blank canvas (I think I did it right?) and then dragged the photos onto the page, and there they sat – doing nothing! Still can’t print them. Any suggestions? Thanks!!!
MM
Mac_McDougald
Oct 21, 2003
You used File/Print and so then what happened?

Mac
JF
Jodi_Frye
Oct 21, 2003
Judy, did you merge the whole kit’n’kabootle together before attempting to print ? Judy, before you do that did you know you can spice up individual images with drop shadows, frames, edge effects, text etc… for a soooo cool album page ?

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