For photographers when it comes to printing, two of the biggest needs are to create contact sheets or custom prints or custom print sizes. Well, here what we're going to do is focus in on how we can create a contact sheet. A contact sheet gives us the ability to print multiple images on one page so that those images are small thumbnails. Sometimes this is a nice way to look at a set of photographs or just to try to figure out which image you want to work with. Let's select all of these files, and you can do so by pressing Command+A or Ctrl+A.
Now there are two different ways that we can create contact sheets. The first technique is going to involve going to the Output workspace. If you go to Window > Workspace, you can then select Output, or you can always just click on the Output button up here in Bridge. Well, either way, let's navigate to this module. Here in this module what we want to do is we want to create a PDF layout which is a contact sheet of all of these different pictures. Well, the way that we can do that is we can go to this Template pulldown menu.
You'll notice that they have some default contact sheet options. Select the Template and then just click the Refresh Preview. It will then build a new PDF file based on these template settings and it will show us that here in a second once it's built this document. Initially, when it's doing this, what we're looking for is just a starting point. We can then customize this further based on how many images we have and based on how we want this contact sheet to look. Eventually, what we'll need to do is after having made some changes we'll need to save this document.
We can see it's created the contact sheet and it's created the sheet based on these different criteria. Here we can choose a Paper Size. Right now it's in centimeters, I'm going to change this to inches. You can see that I have an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper approximately. I can also change other elements here. You can change the Quality of the photographs, if you want to have a Background Color, or if you scroll down you have different Layout options as well. Perhaps rather than 4 Columns, we want to have just 3, and rather than 5 Rows, we want to change that number as well.
So here I'm going to go ahead and type out the number 3 and also change my number of rows to 3 and then I'll click Refresh Preview. Every time we make a change to any of our options, it then allows us to regenerate or recreate this contact sheet. Again, there are a lot of options here, they're all pretty self-explanatory. Let me just scroll through a few of them. You can include the Filename, choose the Font or Size for that. You can also have information like a Header that you can include on top of the page. Well, once you've added all of these different elements that you want to include in this contact sheet, the last thing that you'll want to do is save this out.
You can do so by simply clicking on the Save button. The next step of course would be to open up this sheet and then simply print it. Well, now that we've looked at how we can do this with the Output module, how else can we create contact sheets? Well, another way that we can do this is by going straight to Photoshop. Here I'm going to go to the Essentials tab so that we can view these images here in this workspace layout. What I want to do is navigate to my tools for Photoshop, so we'll select tools > Photoshop, and then you'll see we have an option for Contact Sheet II.
We can access this menu either from Adobe Bridge or from inside of Photoshop. Typically and almost always it's better to do it in Bridge because here you can actually see the images that you're going to create the contact sheet out of. So then let's go ahead and choose this option. When you choose this option, you notice that what it will do is it will navigate to Photoshop because it's going to use Photoshop in order to build this layout. Here it's going to select the images which we just previously selected in Bridge. Next, we can define our paper size and Resolution, Color Profile.
We can also determine how many rows or columns we want. Here I'll go ahead and choose 3 and 3 in order to create a contact sheet which looks similar to the one that we had previously. We also have some Filename options down here as well. I'll leave those as is. Next, just click OK. This will then create a document in Photoshop which will add all of these different images and their file names to it. Now what's the advantage of using Photoshop, say, versus Adobe Bridge in the Output workspace? Well, in Adobe Bridge, the Output workspace, it generates a PDF file.
We can then work with that PDF file by sending it to our printer, yet we can't as easily open it up inside of Photoshop and start to make changes to it. So here you can see inside of Photoshop, if I click on my first page, I have all of these pictures here. I can change the font size of the names or I can turn these on or off. I can also change the visibility of the images or I can make changes to this overall contact sheet. So again, simply by having this here in Photoshop, well, it just gives me access to all that I can do inside of Photoshop in regards to customizing things or making changes.
And perhaps even more importantly, by having this open up in Photoshop, I can simply go to my Print dialog and start the overall printing process. I don't need to worry about opening up another application because really I'm already here. And if I want to create a good high-quality print of all of these images, well, there's no better way to do that than to do it in Photoshop. Of course, as you make the decision which tool to use the Output workspace or the Photoshop tool, well, it's completely up to you and you want to use the option which fits your workflow best.
Now that we've designed and created this contact sheet, let's move on in our conversation about printing and let's start to talk about how we can work with Photoshop in order to create compelling and engaging prints. And let's do that in the next few movies.
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