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Customize Picture Package Layouts in Photoshop CS

Creating a Custom Layout for 4x6 Prints in Photoshop CS

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In previous versions of Photoshop, you had to go through a somewhat non-intuitive process if you wanted to customize the default layouts in the picture package feature. Fortunately, Photoshop CS now offers a dialog box for visually editing and creating new picture package layouts.

I like to use a layout of 4x6 prints, placed three on a page with no margins to maximize my paper use when printing 4x6s on 8.5 by 11 paper. Since this layout doesn't come with Photoshop, here's how to create it yourself:

  1. To access the picture package feature, go to File > Automate > Picture Package.
  2. In the Document section of the dialog, choose "8.0 x 10.0 in" for the page size, then choose "(1)5x7 (2)3.5x5" for the layout. This is a similar arrangement to what we want for our new layout, but the dimensions are wrong.
  3. At the bottom of the dialog box, click the "Edit Layout" button.
  4. Swipe over the name and type 4x6's 3-up.
  5. Change the page size to 8.5 x 11.0 in.
  6. In the Grid section, check the "Snap to" box and change the size to 0.25 in.
  7. Click on the lower left box in the preview area.
  8. Change the width to 4 and the height to 6.
  9. Click inside the box and drag, using the grid to place the box .25 inches from the left edge and .5 inches from the bottom.
  10. Click in the lower right box and change its width to 4 and height to 6, then move it in to place next to the first box you moved--.25 inches from the right edge and .5 inches from the bottom.
  11. Click inside the top box and change its width to 6 and height to 4.
  12. Drag it into place .25 inches from the left edge and .5 inches from the top. The bottom edge should be aligned with the bottom picture placeholders. (The proportions of the picture placeholders may look wrong on your screen, but they do work out properly when Photoshop generates the picture package.)
  13. Click Save in the Picture Package Edit Layout dialog.
  14. Name the file 3up4x6.txt and click save.
  15. You'll be returned to the Picture Package dialog with your new layout.
  16. Click inside each of the picture placeholders to insert an image, then click OK to have Photoshop generate the layout.

Note: You will need to crop most digital camera files to the correct aspect ratio for 4x6 prints if you don't want extra white space.

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