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How to print proof sheets: FOUND-New problem!

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by ShaunK, May 21, 2007.

  1. I have a Windows XP machine, and I'm looking to create some proof sheets. My printing wizard only allows for contacts (too small), or wallets (too big). Is there any way to do this? I have Photoshop CS3, but can't seem to find what I'm looking for there. How do you print proofs? Thanks!

    Ok, I got how to make contact sheets, in Photoshop, go to file>automate>contact sheetsII... but a new problem arises!!! When I make the proof sheets, Photoshop turns the folder into several PS documents... problem is that it does not keep the pictures in the same order as I have them in the folder. I put them in the order I wanted, renamed them so they would be named/numbered in order, but on the proof sheets, they go 1,2,3,21,4,5,6,22 etc... AUUGH! What am I doing wrong!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2007
  2. jfriend


    Nov 11, 2005
    SF Bay Area

    Photoshop is pretty horrible at making contact sheets. It's amazing to me that a tool used by so many photographers has not really covered this functionality in any good way. Photoshop Elements has more, better and faster contact sheet functionality than CS3. Lightroom also has much better functionality for contact sheets. I, myself, am about to buy QImage for this.

    Anyway, to your last question about ordering. One thing you can sometimes do is to create a new directory, then copy the files into that new directory in the order you want them to appear in the contact sheet, copying them one at a time first one to the directory might appear first in the contact sheet. If the contact sheet is ending up in directory order (regardless of filename order, this might work). Worth a try if you're still stumped. You have to use a brand new directory that has never had any other files in it to give it the best chance of working.
  3. genera


    Oct 6, 2005

    I'm using PSCS2 so there may be some differences but these are the two ways that work for me.

    If I start the contact sheet in Photoshop there will be only one or two options for Source Images: Current open documents (if any are open) and/or Folder. If I select Folder all of the documents in the selected folder are printed in alphabetical order using the filename. If this is what you are doing and your files are not being printed in filename alphabetical order you might try this other method.

    Start from Adobe Bridge instead of Photoshop. In Bridge sort the photos any way you want, using either the built in sort tools or manually. Select the photos that you want on the contact sheets. Go to Tools > Photoshop > Contact Sheet II. When the Contact Sheet II dialog box appears in Photoshop select: Source Images > Selected Images from Bridge (this option is greyed out if you start from photoshop). Set the size and other options as needed. Press OK. Photoshop will churn for a while and should yield contact sheet(s) with your photos arranged as they were in Bridge.
  4. genera


    Oct 6, 2005

    What features do you find lacking in Photoshop as far as contact sheets go?
  5. Thanks, guys. looks like there is more than one way to skin this cat! :smile: Another suggestions I got from someone else was to turn off the flatten layers choice, which would keep all the pictures on different layers, that way I could move them where ever I wanted. I'll make the time to try each method to see which works best.
  6. jfriend


    Nov 11, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Ahhh, let me count the ways:
    • Select 143 images in Bridge, build contacts sheets for them and it takes 5 minutes to build the contact sheet pages. If anything in the resulting layout isn't the way you want it, you have to kill all the open windows and start all over. It's a giant waste of time.
    • No straightforward visual way to control the layout order (such as all landscape images together and all portrait images together) or put filenames under portrait images (rather than in the landscape orientation)
    • No preview. You have to run the whole job before you can see what anything is going to look like (5 minutes to run a 143 image job)
    • If you need to print proofs of several hundred images (something contact sheets are useful for), CS takes a very long time to load every image, process it and put it into the contact sheet
    • After running the contact sheet script, you are left with a whole bunch of open windows in CS and you have to then go print them yourself one at a time
    • When you print them one at a time, you have to manually try to find the right order to print them. I'd expect a decent contact sheet app to just print them for me, not make me go do this manually. When you're done, you then have to close each window.
    • When printing many pages of contact sheets, CS requires a bunch of memory because it keeps all contact sheets in memory at once
    Here's what I expect:
    • Pick the images you want
    • Get a thumbnail preview of what it's going to look like (all images/all pages)
    • Be able to drag/drop images around to manually order the images if you want including options to automatically group landscape and portrait images, order images of one person all onto the same contact sheets, etc... A good model for this would be the slide sorter in PowerPoint.
    • Support options for putting filenames under portrait images in that orientation
    • Have the whole function take under a minute to generate the preview (not 5 minutes like it does for me now)
    • Print all the pages for you automatically in order and clean-up open windows after you preview and say print so you can just say print and walk away
  7. nancyr


    Feb 14, 2006
    La Jolla, CA
    I can't believe Bridge is in its 3rd (?) iteration and STILL can't print a simple WYSIWYG contact sheet! I use PhotoMechanic or iView for functions like this, but I've owned both for years. Windows has several browsers/catalogs available and it would be worth $50 or so if you do this often.
  8. jfriend


    Nov 11, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Nope. Lightroom can. Bridge does it poorly.
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