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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Something that you can't actually do in Photoshop proper is actually print more than one image on a single piece of paper unless you actually make a document in Photoshop and actually combine those images into that single document and then send that document to your printer. So, a workaround is to use Adobe Bridge and create a contact sheet, a PDF contact sheet using the Output Workspace inside Adobe Bridge. So, here we are. We're pointed at a particular folder of images, and I want to create a multi image per page document that I can either e-mail to someone as a PDF or print from Acrobat to my printer.
To do that, we'll go to our Output workspace. Up here is our workspace switcher. We're currently in Essentials. There's a little dropdown menu here. We'll switch over to Output. And what that does is switches your workspace to let you create this PDF contact sheet. The images that you had in your Content pane have been moved into this horizontal strip down at the bottom. And it's been replaced here with your output preview of what the PDF currently looks like. Let's go ahead and select all our ten images. I'm going to go ahead and click on one of the thumbnails and do a Command+A or Ctrl+A to select all ten images.
The first thing you need to choose, in your Output tab over here on the right, is whether or not you want a PDF contact sheet or a Web Gallery. We'll cover up the Web Gallery in a separate video. For now, we'll focus on the PDF contact sheet feature. The first thing you would get to choose from then is what template you want to use. There are some templates that ship with Bridge, and you can see them listed here: 2*2, 4*5, 5*8 and so forth. Let's go ahead and choose the 2*2 Cells option. Everytime you make a choice, in any of panes over here on the right, whether it'd be document layout and so forth, you do have to click the Refresh Preview button in order for that update to occur.
You can see, by default, the 2*2 grid is laying out the images four to a page and displaying the file name as well. Now, you can customize all of this with the options we have here down below. If you want to choose a different template, let's go with say 4*5 and click Refresh Preview. And again, we'll update that center area, and you could see this looks more like a traditional contact sheet. We just have really small thumbnails. Let's go back and start customizing this. First thing I'm going to do is change my page size. You have several different standards to choose from.
I'm going to go U.S. Paper and just choose Letter Size 8.5 x 11. You can change the Orientation to be Vertical or Horizontal. I'm going to go with Vertical. You can choose the output Quality, meaning the resolution of your images. There's a preset here, if you want low resolution for faster printing or the maximum resolution for 300 ppi. What this will do is downsample your images, especially those contact size. These are a lot smaller than the images that you're starting out with. So, it will downsample them down to 300 dots per inch, as part of creating the contact sheet for you.
You also have a Quality slider here to specify the JPEG quality that it's going to be generating for you behind the scenes. You can set the Background color. And since this is generating the PDF that you can share with others, you can actually password restrict the document. That's completely up to you. You can give a password to actually open the document or a password to allow them to print it or even disable printing, depending on what you're trying to do with this particular document. If it's just a read only document you want to share and e-mail to someone, but you don't actually want them to be able to print it, then you have that option.
Completely up to you, depending whether or not you're making this for yourself or for someone else like a client review or approval spec sheet of some sort. If we scroll down past the Document section, we have the Layout section, and this is where that template was just adding 4*5 rows as a preset here. But if I want 2 images by 2 images or just one image per page, I can customize that here. Let's do 3*3. And again, to get an update on this, we hit the Refresh Preview button. That'll generate the first page and display the preview of that first page in your Preview area here.
So, there I get 9 images per page, just by doing Columns 3, Rows 3. You can control the amount of space between each image. Use Auto-Spacing, Rotate for Best Fit, basically standard options that pretty much make sense. If you want, you can choose Repeat One Photo per Page. That's really cool. Let's go ahead and hit Refresh Preview again. This is going to generate a much larger PDF document. So, since I have 10 images here, I'm going to get 10 different pages, but I'm going to get 9 copies of each page. So, it's a way to actually output, say, 4*6, as many can fit on the page based on your paper size.
So, it's up to you, a lot of flexibility here. If I want, I can add the Overlays and control their Font and Size. So, by default, the Filename is checked as well the file Extension. If you want, you can change the Font by choosing any font in your installed list of fonts in your computer. I'll just leave it at the defaults here, but you can change the font size, style, color of the text as well and also choose to number your pages if you want. You can add a custom header or footer, put your custom branding on there, maybe the name of your company and so forth.
And then, if you're going to make this a presentation, like a slide show, you can actually have the PDF open up in full screen and have these pictures auto advance. So, you've a lot of flexibility here, just depending on what it is that you're trying to create. I'm going to just go ahead and go with what I've got here. And if you turn on the View PDF After Save check box, that will launch Adobe Reader or Acrobat Professional, depending upon what you have installed in your computer, and show you the final results once you're done. Let's go and hit the Save button. It'll ask to give it a name. I'll call it MyContactSheet, and I'll save it to the Desktop by doing Command+D on the Mac.
If you're on the PC, you might have a different looking Save As dialog box where you can click the word Desktop to have this end up on your Desktop. Let's go and hit Save. It's going to generate that full PDF for me, and when it's done it will launch the appropriate PDF viewer, in this case Acrobat. We'll go to Fit to View, and you can see it's a 10 page document where each page being repeated 9 times at each page, so a lot of flexibility. You can create presentations, contact sheets, multiple layouts, save your layouts as templates back in Bridge.
So, if you decide that you want to use this again, you can click the New button and give it name. We'll call it MyContactSheet. So, you won't have to do that setup again, and that will be added to your template list so you can quickly use that again for your next batch of images. So, lots of flexibility. Just do it from within Bridge, in the Output module, rather than trying to look for something like this in Photoshop Proper. When you're done, you can go back and click on the Essentials Workspace at the top to take you back to your standard working view inside Adobe Bridge.
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