Printing photos

Contact sheets

Written by Gail Bjork

Useful before printing and for archiving images, contact sheets show thumbnails and data for several photos on a single sheet.

Contact sheetContact sheets consist of several thumbnail photos printed on a single sheet of paper. They are used to review images so you can decide which ones will be printed full size.

While a contact sheet is a useful preview tool, it doesn’t always provide total color accuracy.

Contact sheets also make excellent visual catalogs of archived photos. Referencing the sheets make it easier to locate image files backed up to a CD or other storage media.

To make a contact sheet, choose the option via the print menu in your photo software or print drive. Select each of the images you wish to print. Then choose the thumbnail feature through the Print command in the file menu. Some programs also let you choose the thumbnail size.

You can also choose to have image file names, dates and EXIF data printed beneath or to the side of each photo.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.

1 Comment

  • Great tips for contact sheets. I have always used contact sheets mad with Photo Shop as a cross reference for images on cd. It makes it a lot easier than looking through a cd or writing all the images on the cd. I keep both the cds and contact sheets in a album with protective pages.