How to print from Photos without cropping your images

How to print from Photos without cropping your images

You can tell when Apple abandons its efforts in some of its apps, because options stagnate even when they’re confusing or don’t meet people’s needs. Photos for macOS is full of dead ends and half-working pieces, even if the overall app generally meets the need for photo organization and syncing across iCloud. Printing is one such area.

iPhoto (the previous photo-organiztion app) had richer options than Photos has ever had. That surely reflects reality: fewer people now than during iPhoto’s heyday print their pictures. Mostly, people post them online, use online photo services where they receive pictures via the mail, or use a local store for printing and pick up. (The promise of home photo printing was overwhelmed by the supplies we needed, the time it took, and the cost involved!)

But if you’re still a regular home photo outputter, one common task you might have been stymied with is finding the right option to print multiple images per sheet of expensive photo paper while avoiding Photos cropping those images. Photos is ideal at printing a bunch of pictures with the same dimensions, though they sometimes even have to be the same orientation, too. You can select images or an album, select File > Print, and pick Custom, 8 by 10, 5 x 7 or 4 by 6. The app lays them all out.

However, if you’ve cropped to non-standard sizes or don’t like those layout options—even Custom, which has a number of limits—the Contact Sheet selection is the right choice. That doesn’t make much sense on the face of it, as a contact sheet is an old term for making thumbnails of a bunch of pictures. However, Photos’s Contact Sheet preserves dimensions as you adjust the number of columns of images per page and the margins between them.

mac911 print photos contact sheet IDG

Contact Sheet is the best option for printing multiple non-cropped photos on a page.

While it’s not a perfect answer, it’s the best that’s on offer. Third-party software used to abound and appears absent, as do plug-ins for Photos, which are instead all oriented towards online book- and photo-printing services. Printing out photos on your own printer appears to be as old fashioned (and not yet as hip again) as Polaroids.

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September 24, 2020 at 06:23AM

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