Lightroom Print Presets – Multi-Photo Custom Grid

I’ve got a pretty cool Print module preset this time around. It utilizes the new Custom Print Package feature in Lightroom 3. It’s based on a 12×12 inch paper size. There’s room for 15 photos in it which makes a really nice way to show off some travel photos or even a portrait session. Here’s how it works: First download and import the new print template. Look at the directions below and make sure you DON’T install this in the Develop module like you do the rest of the presets. In the Print module, go to User Presets and select the new template. It’ll show a blank page and all you have to do is drag your photos from the filmstrip into it. The bottom left corner is reserved for an Identity Plate so you can put your name (or studio name) there. I created the one you see below in Photoshop and used it graphic option in the Identity Plate.

Here’s a few samples (Click for a larger version).


(Photo Border option turned off)


(Photo Border option turned on, Page Background Color set to white)


(Photo Border option turned on, Page Background Color set to black)

Customize – you can also customize this one by changing the “Page Background Color” option as well as the Photo Border settings at the top right of the Print module.

These are a little different to install than your usual Develop presets:
1) Unzip the preset zip file on to your desktop
2) Go to the PRINT MODULE (NOTE: THESE ARE NOT DEVELOP PRESETS SO DON’T INSTALL THEM THERE!)
3) Go to the Template Browser on the left. Right click on the words User Presets and choose “Import“.
4) Select the .lrtemplate file you unzipped in Step 1 and click Import (NOTE: DO NOT IMPORT THE ZIP FILE)

• Click here to download the preset.

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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80 Comments

  1. Thanks, Matt! Looking forward to trying them out.

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  2. SUPER awesome and helpful – thanks Matt! I am SO bad at making these, but sure do love the end result!

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  3. Matt, when I load your preset, it looks different than the preview. Is it because I have 8.5×11 page selected? Your page looks much more square. What size page is that?

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  4. Matt, when I load your preset, it looks a lot different than the preview. Is that because I have 8.5×11 paper selected? How do I get a squarer layout like yours?

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  5. I love this kinda stuff. So helpful. great style and thanks!

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  6. Looks great. But what paper size should I use. When using A4 (or Letter) it looks very ugly.

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    • Use the idea rather than just copying Matt’s work. If you are going to print an 8×10, make a version with less images. I use a 3-5 image version for highlighting new birds at a Raptor Center. 15 would be over kill.

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  7. I’ve the same problem of Richard: if a different page format is defined when you select your template (which is great by the way: thanks !!) it destroys the boxes disposition shrinking them all. when resizing teh page, it does not bring it back to normal.

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  8. Concur, with Richard. There must be some dependencies on paperr size thats not included in the equation. Ive tried with A3 and A4 with no luck. Maybe theres a bug also involved since the template looks okay in the preview window, but messed up in the windows pane.

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  9. As Richard pointed out, it would be helpful to indicate the paper size, or ideally instructions on how to adapt the preset to any size. Thank you.

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  10. Sergo. you can easily adapt it to other paper sizes by rearranging and moving the cells to your liking.

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  11. Thanks for posting these–definitely a great way to show off a collection of images form a sessiom

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  12. Thanks Matt, this is great. Just have one query, is it possible to move the photos around within each frame because they just take up their position and some of them are not framed where I want them, kinda cropped in the wrong place. At he only way I have found to fix this is to go to the Dev module a crop to shape there which is a pain in the bottom.

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  13. hi matt, great template, thanks for sharing. nice to see muzna “smiling” from the pictures above. was a great shooting with you in dubai!
    take care and greetings from munich
    ingoman

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  14. How do I customize the size of paper? It only lays out as an 8×10

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  15. Sounds like another video lesson on making custom preset sizes, eg. 8.5×11.

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  16. How do I set my page to 12×12?

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    • I think you can only set your page to 12 x 12 if your printer supports it.

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    • You can print to file and set a custom size there.

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  17. This is awesome. Just what I was looking for.
    Is there a way to move photo around in a cell? When I drop a photo in a cell it’s not quite centered.

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  18. I printed a poster of my rainy day double exposures on 13×19″ paper leaving the paper size set to 12×12. With trimming, it came out perfectly! Very cool indeed.

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  19. When I open this template it doesn’t apply the correct paper size (square) but applies the printer’s default paper size (in my case A4) or the last size used.
    @Eric and others: When I select ‘print to file’ and adjust the ‘Custom file dimension’ the layout is stretched out.

    This applies to all other templates as well. No matter what template I choose, it’s always using the same paper size.In some cases you get ugly results.

    Is it true that you cannot save a paper size to a template, or at least the ratio? I now first select a correct Printer paper size in the ‘Page setup’ window before opening a template. Or is there a way to do it differently?

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    • I had to move the cells around to get the layout back to the 12×12. Not sure if my initial import messed it up (it defaulted to my printer’s default size, too.) The updated template loaded fine on my other machine, however.

      I’m using LR 3.2 RC on Windows so I wondered if that was why it was squished up.

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  20. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for the template; just what I was after to send off for a print of a recent trip.

    All the best to you and yours,
    Glyn

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  21. Hi Matt,

    As always you are the best.

    Show us mortals how to change the size to fit different papers.

    Thanks, See you in Vegas, but don’t stay there.

    Bob

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  22. When I Print to File, a couple of the images get stretched wider or narrower so that it distorts the images. Any idea why this is happening? The Print One button is also deselected.

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    • Okay, blonde moment with the Print button not available. Had print to: set to JPEG file but I still can’t fix the minor distortions.

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  23. Is there a way to have more than one picture together in the develop mode for the web or to send to a print company for printing?

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  24. I have the same problem with 12 x12 inches.
    How we all can solve this problem?
    Please comment.

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  25. Love this. I have tons of my own templates like this for digital layouts. How about a tutorial on how to a layout we have in PS and make it into a preset in LR print module?

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  26. Incorrect gamma settings between the monitor calibration and printer can also cause dark dark prints (or bright bright ones).

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  27. Thanks!

    Another question : I’ve restored the format to square and re-arranged the layout, now every photo of my filmstrip goes neatly into one of the frames…
    How do I save this arrangement?
    If I right-click “Update with current settings” on the preset, just like I did with the custom package hack in LR2, it just brings the empty layout and I must again drag the photos into the frames.

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    • Not sure if there is an easier way but I printed to jpg rather the printer and then imported back to Lightroom.

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      • OK, but that’s not exactly a non-destructive workflow…
        I liked the way the PP hack worked. To the point I’m a tad reluctant to upgrade to LR3, so far ;).

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  28. Feeling stupid…have no idea what I’m doing wrong. Imported just fine, yes, in print module, but it doesn’t work for me. I figured out how to change the paper size and all that, but the function of making the images into a collage is not working at all. :( Can someone please help me?!

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  29. Is this built for LightRoom 2.x or is it a 3.x only preset?
    Did I just miss this in the writeup?
    Looks fantastic nonetheless!

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  30. Thank you for another super preset!

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  31. Matt, great tip but I hope you dont mind me sharing a variation on this.

    Just to spread the word .. I found some software on the internet this week which goes one step further and allows you to build a cool photomosaic (where the background image is composed using tiled photos).

    Best of all its free …

    http://homepage.mac.com/knarf/MacOSaiX/

    I tried it yesterday and made a cool mosaic of a flag. Its a gift for a friend so I cant post the link but there are examples on the website. Only warning I have is that depending on how many tiles and how stringent you are with adjacent duplicates, they can take some time to build.

    Russ

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  32. Hey somebody….I have been screwing with this preset all afternoon…..Would some please tell me how to use it,,,,Using 3.2…..Man, I can’t even figure out how to get the darn photos in it….

    Thanks anybody…

    PS Great looking preset that Matt has posted…..LOOKS GREAT! Would like to use it….

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      • Hi, hope someone can help me. Tried installing, but its not working. Everytime I click on the preset, the blank page does not appear. Im using lightroom 2.5. Is this compatible with 2.5? Thanks!

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  33. Hey Matt!

    I am trying to discern if I can use the print module to setup blog layouts that are featured on many photographers blogs. Such as 4 detail shots in a configured layout. The idea is to maybe print to a JPEG file, and then run a resizing action on it and then upload it to my blog.

    However, I am having huge problems with it fitting into this type of workflow. For instance, there is always a big margin around the outside of my content, which I cannot seem to get rid of, so I have to take it into Photoshop and crop off the margins on the outside, to get to the content in the middle. Is there any way of configuring the page layout in the print module to not have any margins?

    I’m trying to create the multi-image picture that is featured here in my blog: http://www.davidmacvicar.com/blog/index.php/2009/11/22/andrew-amy-wedding/ with all of the details. Anyway of doing this succesfully in LR?

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    • To get rid of the margins, you have to set the printer to borderless mode, and therefore to use a printer that can print borderless – most of the virtual PDF printers should do it.

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  34. Ok…I must be a complete idiot…but someone has to help me!!!! So I got the present imported into print. I’m having tons of issues. When I click on the import it looks like a sheet of paper with no grid. My filmstrip will not let me drag and drop, it has a circle with a line through it to say I can’t drag. What am I doing wrong? Why is this not working for me? someone help me please and spell out the steps for me! ! ;)

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  35. Hi Matt,

    Great template! In windows you can use the CTRL key and the mouse to move the image around in a cell, is there any way i can zoom into a picture?

    Thanks

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    • This isnt an answer as I dont think there is one right now, this is one feature im amazed the adobe have overlooked! infact as a full time pro photograoher who would love to use lightroom to deisgn all my wedding albums, this is the one feature that preventing me from doing so. If anyone out there does know of a magic combination of keys that enables you to postiion and recompose an image in a cell using zoom to recrop the image that would be the perfect. i use pro show producer for slideshow and a simple scrill of a mousewheel allow you to zoom into a cell.. thats all i need!

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  36. Hi Matt, I follow all your LR3 and CS5 Killer Tips and Kelby videos, thank you I certainly could not manage without them.
    Having downloaded the multi-print preset and amended it for UK A4 paper size, when I drag a photo into position, then change my mind and delete it, the cell is also deleted? Is there another way to remove a photo?

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  37. Hi Matt,

    sorry that i’m trying to contact you via this message form but i have a serious question about printing an preset paper sizes.
    Here in Germany we have different DIN sizes (A0, A1, A”, etc …) but i cant see any, working in Photoshop for example is no problem but in Lighroom it seem that i have to set up everything manually.

    Also I’m baffled with the proportional resizing of picture onto canvas. Lightroom does not accept commands like PS does if you resize a picture propotionally (center, corner, etc.)

    Are these limitations by LR or I’m stupid enough to read the manual?

    Thank you!
    Thomas

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  38. Thanks Matt for the great layout keep em cumming, this is just what I have been look for to Show case some great photos.

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  39. Your the Man,

    I saw this preset a couple months ago but just got around to downloading it, I threw a few photo’s in it then showed some friends. WOW, did they love it… And for the record, I gave you all the credit for the template :)

    You have saved alot of us many ‘head slamming nights’ trying to figure out cool stuff to do in LR, much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Steve

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  40. Thanks for the trick.
    I think, my photos are too bright to begin with (on the screen), so printing them I rarely had a problem,now I know why ;)

    I had to argue with a printer the other day. I had the same photo printed in small and in A4. In A4 the colours were yucky and the tones too dark. He was like: It’s the photo. Right. He recalibrated his settings in the machine a bit et voila, my print came out correct. Mpf,… guess he was quite peeved that a woman was right, gotta love the Middle East ;)

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  41. thanks for the template..

    but i have a problem i can’t set my page to 12×12 dimension..what i mean is i tried the custom dimension and set it to 12×12 but every time i apply the preset it always ends up to 8×11 dimension

    can anyone help me with this?

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  42. Great website for tips. I’m new to using the Print module, and was wondering if anyone knew how to “export” these photos instead of printing them. That is, export the whole collage as a jpeg to display like Matt is doing here on the web, or to have a digital portfolio.

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  43. I can’t get it to work for me. Any chance you could share how to create a custom grid? I imported to the ‘user templates’ when in the Print section (no user presets option in this window. Click and drag images to the page but it won’t display any images at all.
    thx.

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  44. Thanx, Matt. You saved me some serious ‘mind-torment’.

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  45. Matt,
    My question sounds easy in my head but may sound complicated in text. Is there a way to do whatever size of the same thing your doing with the 12×12. Such the case if I wanted to do something bigger or smaller is it just a matter of adjusting a slider in LR3/4 or what? Im trying to do one large collage of divided pics and mixed sizes within one large canvas/frame. I was going to make the template, fill it, and make it like one file, and get it printed at pro print shop.
    Thanks
    Mike

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  46. “The preset file was the wrong type of preset.”

    This is the message I’m getting when trying to import this preset into L 4.2 RC… how do I get around this problem?

    fwiw L 4.2 RC is also having problems with some sunflare presets, I don’t remember if they’re yours or not.

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

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    • Watch the video on the page where you got the presets. It’s not a Develop module preset so you’re importing it into the wrong place. I go over where they get put in the video :)

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  47. PS: I’m using Mountain Lion in case that matters.

    Thanks again!

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  48. Hi there,
    I am trying to make a identity plate that has at least 3 lines if not more. Is that possible?

    Post a Reply

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