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Chapter 11. Saving and Printing Images > Cataloging Your Images

Cataloging Your Images

You may have lots of photographs downloaded from your digital camera, but because they have unhelpful file names like 102-0246_IMG.JPG, organizing and sorting them can be a difficult task. And although Photoshop Elements’ File Browser window lets you view and sort through your images, sometimes it’s nice to have a printed hard copy to study and mark up. In traditional photography, contact sheets are created from film negatives and provide a photographer or designer with a collection of convenient thumbnail images organized neatly on a single sheet of film or paper. Photoshop Elements’ Contact Sheet feature works in much the same way, allowing you to create your own collections of thumbnails, drawn from the contents of any folder on your desktop.

To make a contact sheet:

From the File menu, choose Print Layouts > Contact Sheet to open the Contact Sheet dialog box (Figure 11.24).

Figure 11.24. The Contact Sheet dialog box.

Click the Browse (Windows) or Choose (Mac OS) button; then browse for and select the folder containing the images you want to include on your contact sheet.

If there are folders within the folder you select that also contain files you want to include, select the Include All Subfolders check box.

Select a width and height value for your contact sheet images.

The page preview to the right updates to reflect the values you enter (Figure 11.25).

Figure 11.25. If you change the size of your contact sheet, the image layout will automatically accommodate the change.

The default setting of 8 × 10 inches allows your images to be contained with a standard 8.5 × 11 sheet of paper, which works best for most users.

Note that these values specify the actual area that the images will occupy, not the page size itself.

Enter a resolution value for your images.

Since you are simply preparing a sheet of thumbnails for reference, the default resolution of 72 pixels per inch should work just fine for most images and will help to keep the file size of your contact sheet reasonably small.

From the Mode pop-up menu, select a color mode for your contact sheet (Figure 11.26).

Figure 11.26. Choose from two different color modes for your contact sheet.

Make sure that the Flatten All Layers check box is selected.

Again, this helps to reduce file size.

From the Place pop-up menu, choose whether you want your thumbnails to appear in order starting from the top left and running across or down the page (Figure 11.27).

Figure 11.27. The Place pop-up menus determines the order in which the contact sheet thumbnails are placed on the page.

In the Columns and Rows text boxes, enter the number of thumbnails that you would like to appear down and across the page.

Again, the page preview to the right will update to reflect the values you enter (Figure 11.28).

Figure 11.28. You can choose to place nearly any number of thumbnails on a page.

If you want a file name to appear below each image on the page, see that the Use Filename as Caption check box is selected; then choose a font and size for the file.

Click OK to close the dialog box and build the contact sheet.

A new Contact Sheet file is created, and the files from the selected folder are automatically opened and placed in the new file (Figure 11.29).

Figure 11.29. This is a completed Contact Sheet file as it appears in a new document window.



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