If you have a group of digital photos and you want to print small thumbnail-sized pictures, all on one page or a series of pages, there's an easy way to do this with Adobe Photoshop. Photographers sometimes call this a contact sheet, referring back to the days of film photography when such a page would be made by exposing a page of photo paper with the negatives in direct contact with the paper. Another term for it is index print, referring to the visual index you might receive when ordering digital photos on a photo CD.
Make a Contact Sheet Using Photoshop CS4 or Earlier
Put all the photos you want to print in the same folder, or on the same CD, memory card or flash drive.
Select "Automate" from the "File" menu and then choose "Contact Sheet II" from the menu that pops up.
Input your desired settings into the dialog box that comes up. Choose the size and orientation of the paper, the number of rows and columns of photos, and the resolution desired. For printing, a minimum of 300 dpi is a good place to start.
Click on "OK" and wait while Photoshop formats the contact sheet. This may take several minutes, depending on the number of photos and the amount of memory in your computer.
Select "Print" to print the contact sheet once it is complete.
Make a Contact Sheet using Photoshop with Adobe Output Module
Open Adobe Bridge and select the folder or drive that contains the photos you want to print. Move all of the photos to the same folder if they are not already in one single folder.
Select "Workspace" from the "Window" menu at the top, and select "Output" from the menu that pops up.
Select an output method (PDF file) and pick the layout template that best fits your needs.
Click on "Refresh Preview," making sure your photos are still selected. You will have the option to change the layout and preview again if you don't like the first version.
Save the PDF file when you are satisfied with your layout of mini photos. Print your contact sheet.
Things You'll Need
- Digital photographs
- Adobe Photoshop
When you order prints from a store or website that prints photos, you may be able to request an index print, which is a print with small thumbnail size pictures of those in your order. Ask about this option where you normally get your photos printed, if you don't have Photoshop.
Google's Picasa software also has a contact sheet option. Picasa is free desktop software you can download that helps you manage your photos.
- letter and photo image by Hao Wang from Fotolia.com