Printing photos. What could be easier?

by Matt 25. October 2007 15:55

Things have been a little busy lately. In a good way, mind, but just a little busy. The main reason for this has afforded me the chance to take and print a load of photos. I've been using Windows Photo Gallery (and lately Windows Live Photo Gallery) to organise my piccies, and can't speak highly enough of it. Speedy, great tagging capabilities and you've just got to love the ever-so-simple red-eye removal. A heartily recommended download, especially for all you XP users.

The printing support is a real highlight, too. A very friendly good wizard allows you to print full page, or at certain standard photo sizes, such as 13 x 18, 10 x 15, 9 x13.

Print Pictures

But there's no print to 7 x 7.

I've got a square picture frame, and I want to print to this size. I've cropped the image ready (another nice Gallery feature). But this is going to print out to 9 x 9. And I've got another picture frame at 4 x 4.

There's no way to customise the output of the print pictures wizard.

So, I downloaded paint.net. You can resize the canvas (without resizing the actual image) and it lets you resize by centimetres, not just pixels. So I should be able to resize it to 7 centimetres square and we'll all be happy.

Except when you click print, you get the same print pictures dialog.

Now, when it works - when you want to print full page, or to a certain (standard photo) size, it works brilliantly. I love it. But when you want to print to a non-standard size, or even when you just want to bypass the wizard and let the app control the size - you're out of luck.

Of course, it's not even that easy. When I open the image in paint.net and try to resize the canvas, I'm told that it's currently at 44.77 centimetres square, because for some reason, the resolution is set at an apparently arbitrary 28.35 pixels per centimetre.

Canvas Size

I need to change this to make it fit to 7 x 7. Changing the print size doesn't change the resolution, but changes the pixel size. Time to whip out the calculator. Set the resolution to 181 pixels/cm and we've got a 7 x 7 image.

I can now change the print size to 9 x 9 and we're good to go - I've got a 7 x 7 image centred in a 9 x 9 white background. Printing this let's me choose the 9 x 13 print option, and hey presto, I've got my 7 x 7 print for my 7 x 7 picture frame. That was almost too easy.

Glad my mom doesn't need to print out photos. Oh wait...

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