Adobe Lightroom: everything you need to know about the ‘alternative Photoshop’

Adobe Lightroom: what every photographer must know about the 'alternative Photoshop'

Adobe Lightroom: all your options for printing photos

In the final instalment of our Raw Tuesday series looking in-depth at how to use Adobe Lightroom, we explore the many options for printing photos in Lightroom.

If you’re used to printing a single photo at a time on a single sheet of paper, Adobe Lightroom’s print layout settings might seem quite intimidating but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can print multiple images on one page, soft-proof with your printer profiles and much more.

Here’s our in-depth guide. Click on the screen shot below to see the larger version

Adobe Lightroom: all your options for printing photos

Page Setup
This displays your printer’s standard Page Setup dialog. It’s important to set the paper size first, or the rest of the layout options in Lightroom will be affected.

For example, if you’re printing on borderless A4 paper, you need to select that here or Lightroom will display a white border around your prints.

Template Browser
If you find yourself using the same print layouts again and again, it could be worth saving them as your own User Templates. Lightroom comes with a wide selection of templates as standard.

This panel shows how your chosen template will look – each template is made of up of ‘cells’ within which pictures are printed. A template for printing single images just has one cell.

The Preview panel doesn’t show your selected images ‘live’, but if you click on a template to select it, you see them in place in the main window.


Adobe Lightroom printing options: Image Settings

Image Settings
Adobe Lightroom usually fits the whole image within the print ‘cell’, leaving space around the edges if the photo’s aspect ratio is different to the cell’s dimensions. To fill it, check the Zoom to Fill box – you must do this to get borderless prints.

The Rotate to Fit box rotates images to suit the page orientation in the Page Setup dialog. If you want to select and print a series of photos with the same settings, tick the Repeat One Photo per Page box.


Adobe Lightroom printing options: Layout Style

Layout Style
There are three Layout Styles. You’ll use the Single image/Contact Sheet option most. To print a single photo, choose a template with a single cell. To print a contact sheet, choose the number of cells (Rows and Columns) in the Layout panel.

Picture Package prints a number of copies of the same image on a single sheet. Custom Package lets you print a number of different pictures at any size and in any configuration.


Adobe Lightroom printing options: Layout

The Layout panel offers detailed control over cells in your print template. Use the Margins sliders to control the space around the edges of the print – these need to be reduced to zero for borderless printing, for example.

The Page Grid sliders are used to define the number of cells in a contact sheet layout, and if these are more than 1 then the Cells Spacing controls below are activated. The Cell Size sliders are an alternative way of adjusting the size of photos in single prints and contact sheets.


Adobe Lightroom printing options: Page

Here you can find options for customising the print appearance and adding information. For example, you can use a different Page Background Color.

There is some crossover between Identity Plates and Watermarking. Both enable you to stamp your printed images with text, or with a graphical Identity Plate or Watermark which you create separately and then specify in this panel.

The Photo Info option is especially useful, in that you can add image metadata to the print.


Adobe Lightroom printing options: Guides

Displaying Guides helps you plan print layouts and anticipate spacing between cells and margins at page edges. Checking the Dimensions box can be useful because Lightroom will display the size of each cell at the top left corner (you can change the units used in the Layout panel).


Adobe Lightroom printing options: Print Job

Print Job
This is where you make final adjustments to print settings, in particular the ‘output sharpening’. The degree and type of sharpening depends on print size. Choosing this at output stage is preferable – rather than sharpening ‘by eye’ during image editing.

This is where you choose printer profiles, too – whether you use the profiles in the printer driver, or your own custom profiles. Lastly, if your prints are coming out too dark or light, tweak the settings here.

PAGE 1: What Adobe Lightroom offers photographers
PAGE 2: Getting to know the Adobe Lightroom interface
PAGE 3: 3 things you need to know about the Adobe Lightroom Metadata Panels
PAGE 4: Adobe Lightroom Library Module – Folders and Collections

PAGE 5: Adobe Lightroom Library Module – Filter Bar
PAGE 6: Adobe Lightroom Library Module – Flags, Ratings and Labels
PAGE 7: Getting to know the Adobe Lightroom Develop module interface
PAGE 8: Making selective adjustments in the Develop module
PAGE 9: New sharing options in Adobe Lightroom 4
PAGE 10: How to create a website in Adobe Lightroom
PAGE 11: How to make a slideshow in Adobe Lightroom
PAGE 12: How to make books in Adobe Lightroom
PAGE 13: How to speed up your workflow using the Quick Develop tools
PAGE 14: All your options for printing photos in Adobe Lightroom


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20 questions you need to ask about how to print photos

  • jmeyer

    You’re right – thanks for pointing that out. Looks like we uploaded the wrong version of the infographic. This has now been fixed and it should be much more readable.

  • Michelle Ropiza

    Hi, I’m so confused. I’ve been scouring the internet and can only find this cloud version of lightroom that costs $9.99 a month (or more) Is there a program I can install on my mac, or just the web based system? Thanks for any advice. Michelle