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When you want to share multiple images with someone else, for example, so that they can review a set of images and choose which one they'd like to have you print at a larger size, a contact sheet can be a very convenient way to share those images. Let's take a look at just how quickly and easily we can set up a contact sheet so that we can, for example, print a number of pages featuring multiple images that we can then very easily share with someone else. I'll start off, of course, by making sure that the filmstrip down at the bottom of the Lightroom interface contains the images that I would like to include in my contact sheet.
And then, I can configure that contact sheet, and fortunately, there are a couple of templates that provide an opportunity to get started very easily. So over on the Template Browser, I'll choose one of the contact sheet options. You can see that I have a four by five contact sheet and a five by eight contact sheet. And what that refers to is how many images across versus down are included on that contact sheet. So, with the four by five option, for example, I have a total of 20 images. I'll go ahead and choose that option, and you can see that, sure enough, I have a contact sheet, but that contact sheet only contains a single image, which is not especially helpful, and that is because I have the option set on the toolbar below the preview area to selected photos.
In other words, only the selected images on the filmstrip are actually going to be included in my contact sheet. In theory, I could simply select all of the images on the filmstrip, or at least those that I wanted to include in this contact sheet, but if I do want to include all images from the filmstrip on my contact sheet, it's a lot simpler to choose the All Filmstrip Photos option from that popup. You can see that once I've chosen that option, now the contact sheet contains all of the images on the filmstrip. You can see I have 20 images on the page here, but at the far right of the toolbar, you can see that this is page 1 of 2.
I can navigate among those pages using the arrow buttons at the far left of the tool bar below the image preview area. And you can see that I have, in this case, just six images on the second page, with 20 images on that first page. Since I only have 26 images, I could choose a different contact sheet arrangement so that I'm able to fit all of the images onto the page. So here, for example, the five by eight contact sheet, which enables me to have a total of 40 images on the page, but that's actually too many images in this case.
It provides more space than I really need, which means the images are smaller than I need them to be. And so, to really fine-tune things, I can turn my attention to the right panel in the Print module where I can change the overall configuration of my print layout. Specifically, I want to take a look at the Layout section. You can see that I can adjust the overall margins for the page if I'd like. I can also adjust Cell Spacing. In other words, how much space occurs between each of the cells in which an image will be printed. And the overall cell size.
But in this case, I just want to change the number of images and so, for example, I might reduce the number of columns. If I take that down to 4, now I have 32 available spaces for my images, and so, I can determine what the best settings would be in order to maximize the use of space. In other words, filling up the pages as much as possible so that the images themselves will each print as large as possible for the person who'll be reviewing these photos. And of course, I could also take those numbers down further and simply optimize this printed output for two pages if I'd prefer, but in this case I'd like to have all of my images appear on a single page.
And so, I'll fine-tune that page grid in order to make the best use of that printed page. As you can see, it's easiest to start with one of the contact sheet templates, but the overall concept is actually pretty straightforward as long as we're working in the Single Image/Contact Sheet layout style. Then we can very easily adjust our layout in order to change how many images appear on the page. If I reduce these values down to 1 for both rows and columns, for example, you'll see that I end up with one image on each page and in this case, that means 26 total pages.
I could also then adjust the size of the cells so that I'm getting a larger image. But again, in this case, I'm really just trying to present multiple images on the same page so that the intended audience can review those images. I'll reduce the cell spacing here so that we end up with larger images, and again, really just trying to maximize the use of space here. But the bottom line is that whether or not we're starting from a contact sheet template, the settings that we need to establish in order to produce that contact sheet are very simple.
We make sure that we're working in the Single Image/Contact Sheet Layout Style, and then fine-tune our Page Grid settings, as well as the Cell Spacing and Cell Size as applicable, in order to create the contact sheet that contains exactly as many images as we'd like.
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