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- What is Lightroom used for?
- Importing photos and videos
- Organizing your library with collections
- Adding keywords and ratings to photos
- Cropping and straightening photos
- Adjusting color and white balance
- Reducing digital noise
- Working with video
- Making changes with the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools
- Sharing photos on Facebook
- Printing photos
Skill Level Beginner
Lightroom has lots of options that you can use to make great looking prints from your desktop ink jet printer, or to prepare JPEG's that you can take to a print service bureau and have them do the printing for you. Your first step will be to think about the source of the images that you want to print. Before I came in to this Print module, back in the Library module, I selected a folder of images. And so here in the Print module, I can see and access the contents of that folder down here in the film strip. Another way to access photos in the Print module is from the Collections panel over here in the column on the left of this module.
This is the same Collections panel that you can see in the Library module. So, if you have made a collection in the Library module, you'll be able to click on it here and then you would see all of the photos in that collection down here in the film strip and you would be able to choose photos from here to print. I'm going to stick with the folder that I selected, and I'm going to select an image from the film strip and when I do, you'll see it appear up here in this Print Layout in the Image window. This is only one of many print layouts that you can make here in the Print module.
If you look at the Layout Style panel on the top right of the Print module, you'll see various categories of layouts. There are single image layouts, contact sheets, picture packages, and even custom arrangements of multiple images. So, there are so many options in this print module which, by the way, you access by clicking Print up here in the Module Picker that often you won't know when to start. I think a great place to start is over here in the Template browser. I'm going to click the arrow to the left of that and I'll make sure that the Lightroom Templates category is open and then I'll keep my eye up here in the Preview panel as I just hover over these different templates of print layouts.
And I'll often do that, scrolling down until I see one that suits my purposes. So, let's say I like this 2x2 cell layout which is essentially a contact sheet with big cells. I'll select that, and now I can see that layout here in the Image window. This particular layout has four cells so I could select three other images and have them appear here too. I'm going to hold down the Command key, that's the Control key on the PC, and select three other images from my film strip to add to this layout.
Now, I'm not stuck with this particular template the way it is, it actually doesn't look great yet. There's a lot that I can do to customize it. There are so many options that I can't tell you all of them, but what I can do is just give you a flavor of the kinds of things that you can do to customize a layout and where to go to do them. So, the first thing I'll usually do is to choose the page size and orientation that I'm going to use because that will make the layout look different. I'll go down to the Page Setup button here, I'll click it and then the Page Setup dialog box, I'm going to choose my paper size and the orientation of the paper.
I'll choose Landscape or Horizontal this time and click Okay. And now that same layout looks a lot different. Then I'll come over to the column on the right and I'll just go through the many settings here choosing those that suit the look I want to get as I customize the layout I am working with. So, to give you a taste of what's here. In the Image Settings panel, I can do things like add a stroke border around each photo cell and change the width of that stroke. I can zoom each image in to fill its cell.
If I scroll down, in the Layout panel, I can really customize the layout by changing the margins, the number of rows and columns in the layout, the amount of space between the photo cells, and the size of the photo cells. And if I move down further, I have access to show or hide the guides that you see here in the lay out which I can use to find tool in the layout, as well as the rulers. So, if I don't want to see those, I'll uncheck Show Guides and now I can better see how the images will look on the page when it's printed.
Scrolling down, there are options for changing the page background color, for adding and identity plate of text, for adding a watermark, for adding options like page numbers and crop marks. Here, if I click Photo Info, I can choose to show under each photo in the layout the file name or custom text, anything I want to type, the date on which the photo as taken, or other options. I'll uncheck that for now.
The Print Job panel is really important. Here, I'll choose whether I want to print to a desktop printer or whether I want to create a JPEG file to take a print service bureau. If I am going to take a JPEG to the print service bureau and I want a copy for myself, then I might turn on Draft Mode Printing just to make a quick copy for my printer. Otherwise, I'll leave that off if I'm making my final print for my desktop printer. And then in the rest of this Print Job panel, I'll choose the proper resolution for my printer, I'll decide on how much output sharpening I want and that depends on the media type as well, the kind of paper in which I'm going to print, and I'll come down and I'll make some choices about color management.
If you're just starting out, you may want to leave that set to manage by printer, but there are other options too. And those topics are big topics in themselves so they are really outside the scope of this particular course. There is one more option I want to mention and that is the Print Adjustment option. This is usually off by default. What you can do with this is adjust all of your prints. So, if you find that your particular printer is always turning out darker prints than those you see on your screen, you might want to check print adjustment and then drag the Brightness slider over a little bit.
You won't see any difference here in the preview in the Print module but you will see a difference on your prints and you can just make test prints, changing these sliders until your prints look the way that you want them. When you're all done setting up these many options for your print layout and your print settings, then you click the Print button at the bottom of the column in the right, and that will open up other windows with more print options that are specific to your kind of printer and your printer driver. So, that's an overview of what the Print module has to offer. I hope that gives you a road map that you can follow as you explore these many options making your own prints.