Lightroom Q&A's

Q&A Day (The Picture Package Aftermath)

Hey folks. First off, thanks for all of the positive feedback from the multi-photo layout in the Picture package video last week. I got so many questions from it that I thought I’d cover them in one post.

What’s interesting though, is that I started out to write a Q&A post but I also wanted to include some overall points about this picture package/print/album thing. I think by reading this, you’ll have most of your questions answered.

The thing that started this whole discussion was when I stated that Lightroom’s print module is not geared for creating books and albums. The picture package workaround/tip I gave may change that for some people but it’s just that – a workaround. You’re still going to have all the frustrations that you had before because this is not an album/book creating program. You still won’t: 1) be able to change the color of the background, 2) Be able to screen the background photo or control it’s opacity, 3) print CD/DVD stickers, 4) Add text the way you REALLY want to, 5) Add Identity plates on all pages, or 6) Add real graphics or captions to the pages.

I’m NOT saying that these things aren’t possible in the Print module in Lightroom. But when they are possible they’re hacks and workaround and you’ll get the results and frustrations that you’re used to getting with hacks and workarounds. Oh yeah, you can’t get mad at Adobe (or me) for this. Why? Repeat after me. “Lightroom is not a book/album layout program”. OK, now that we have that behind us, let’s move on to the Q&A’s.

Q. This multi-photo picture package thing is great! But how can I send these layouts to my lab in JPEG format?

A. In Lightroom 2, in the Print module scroll down the right side panels to the Print Job panel. The top option reads Print To. Change it’s setting to JPEG file.

Q. I see a yellow warning triangle on the top right of the picture package when displayed. What does that mean and how can I get rid of that?
A. If you hover your cursor over the triangle, Lightroom is telling you that some of the cells on the page overlap and may not look right when printing. If you’re printing a picture package (which LR thinks you are at this point), then it makes sense. You wouldn’t want to cover the images up. In this case, it’s OK since you have probably laid your photos out that way.

Q. Can you change the Opacity of each image in the layout?
A. Nope.

Q. Can you change the page color of these layouts?
A. Nope. I do have a workaround in this video though.

Q. Is there a way to change the way the photo appears (the crop) in the frame?
A. Yep. Check out last Friday’s tip.

Q. Is there a way to customize the text in the Identity Plate?
A. I saw lots of “Identity Plate” questions. The identity plate is actually pretty basic. You can put simple text and some fairly simple graphics in there. If you’re trying to create a fancy layout with it, you’re going to get frustrated. It’s just not meant for that. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but there’s other products out there that are better suited for creating more complex layouts with text and graphics.

Whew! I hope I took care of most of your questions. In the end, I think the workaround is definitely cool and it does open up the possibilities of what we can do in the Print module. There’s still room for improvement though and unless Adobe decides to make a “Album” or “Photo Book” plug-in module for Lightroom, I’m not sure we’ll see a dramatic change in the layout features of the Print module. I think it does what it’s supposed to do (print photos) better then anything else in the industry. That said, this book layout thing sounds like a great place for a 3rd party plug-in company to jump in doesn’t it. Oh well. We can hope right? Thanks for reading.