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Q: How do I resize my digital files so they are ready to print standard sizes?

A: This seems to be one of the big mysteries of digital photography. Because standard print sizes are not necessarily standard image sizes, it's best to resize your image before ordering. By resizing yourself you can make sure that the image is cropped exactly the way you want it. Sometimes you will discover that the cropping proportions don't enhance the image so full frame proportions would be a better choice. I'll go over how to do both.

The following steps are for users of Photoshop or Photo Elements (all versions).

  • First open your image in Photoshop or Photo Elements. Click Image/Duplicate name the duplicate image and click OK. Always make changes to a duplicate image, do not use your original. Close your original image, leave open the duplicate image.
  • Click on the Crop Tool or use the keyboard shortcut PC: Ctrl-C Mac:Command-C
  • With the Crop Tool selected there will be a crop tool bar that appears at the top of the page. Enter the Width and the Height that you want in inches, ex: Width: 11 in Height: 14 in
    The next box is Resolution: put 300 and make sure the drop down menu next to 300 says pixels/inch (300 is a good resolution for printing)
  • Once you've entered the values drag the cropping tool from the top left of your image to the bottom right of the image. Don't worry if the crop doesn't fit exactly where you want it.
  • If you don't have the correct proportion or want to abort the crop at anytime you can click on the circle with the line through it in the top tool bar. To change your proportions for example from Width: 11 in Height: 14 in to Width: 14 in Height: 11 in, just click on the double arrow between Width and Height to swap dimensions.
  • You can adjust the crop by using the double arrows at each corner and also by moving the entire cropping box. Click on the center with your cursor then holding and drag to move the entire box. Because you entered the exact values for your crop the proportions will not change only the amount of area that will be cropped. When you have the crop you like choose Enter or click on the check mark in the top tool bar to mark the crop final.
  • If you drag the cropping tool across the image and find that it crops out more then you like you will probably want to change your cropping proportions to be more full frame. Let's say for example that you choose 8x10 proportions for the image but found it cropped out more then you wanted. Try the same cropping with 8x12 full frame proportions. Below is a list for standard print sizes and also print sizes that are closer to full frame. Full Frame proportions are indicated with FF next to the image size.
  • For printing on a Gallery Wrap canvas or trying to fit an image into a pre made frame or mat you will need to stay with standard proportions for both width and height. But you don't have to stay with exact proportions when printing on paper if you're ok with custom matting or framing. We can print any size you like as long as it fits on a paper size that we offer. For example you might want a panoramic image to be 14 inches wide so it fits 11x14 paper. If you would like to make this crop but don't know what the height will be all you have to do is follow the instructions for cropping as described above but leave the height box empty. By doing this you will get the side to side dimensions that you want, in this example 14 inches and the top dimensions will stay within the proportions of your image.

  Below are standard print sizes
Print Size Full Frame Sizes Square Sizes fit on
4 x 6 4 x 6 FF 4 x 4 on 4 x 6
5 x 7   5 x 5 on 5 x 7
8 x 10 8 x 12 FF 8 x 8 on 8 x 10
11 x 14 9.3 x 14 FF 10 x 10 on 11 x 14
16 x 20 13.3 x 20 FF 14 x 14 or 16 x 16 on 16 x 20
20 x 24 16 x 24 FF 18 x 18 or 20 x 20 on 20 x 24
24 x 30 20 x 30 FF 24 x 24 on 24 x 30
  24 x 36 FF  
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