Export for Print


Today’s Question: I want to export a file using the profile from the print section of Lightroom and have a 12”x18” print made.  When I do this I run into problems because I am unable to get a border-to-border print.  Lightroom wants to include borders or only print a 7”x8”, or so, image in the center of the 12”x18” paper. How do I set up Lightroom to allow me to export a full-resolution JPEG image that will allow me to make a 12”x18” inch border-to-border print, using the Costco Fuji Printer profile?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There are two options here. You could define a custom paper size for the print, and then save the final print layout as a JPEG image using the “Print to File” option. Or you could use the Export feature in the Library module to export an image at the desired output size with the appropriate printer profile embedded in the exported image.

More Detail: To enable custom print sizes in the Print module (and thus custom-sized JPEG images for printing) you’ll need to define a custom paper size. This can be managed with the Page Setup dialog. The process is slightly different on Macintosh versus Windows, and on Windows there are variations in the Printer Properties dialog based on the model printer you’re using. But you can create a new custom paper size at the desired output dimensions, and with the margins set to zero on all four sides.

Once you have this custom paper size defined, you can use that custom size as the basis for configuring the print in the Print module. You can then use the “JPEG File” option for the “Print to” setting, so that you can then click the “Print to File” button at the bottom of the right panel in the Print module to create the image that is ready to be printed, with the selected printer profile embedded.

If you want to use the Export dialog to create the image file for printing, the only additional step required is to crop the image to the applicable aspect ratio so you can create a file at the exact print size. You may want to create a virtual copy for this purpose, which can then be cropped to the applicable aspect ratio (12×18 in this case) for the intended print.

When exporting the image you can then specify the exact dimensions (in inches, for example) as well as choosing the applicable printer profile for the exported file. The profile can be established using the Color Space popup in the File Settings section of the Export dialog, after you’ve selected “JPEG” from the Image Format popup. If the desired printer profile is not already available on the Color Space popup, you can add it to that popup. Start by choosing the “Other” option from the Color Space popup, and then turn on the checkbox for the desired printer profiles in the Choose Profiles dialog. Click OK, and the profiles you enabled will then appear on the Color Space popup.

With either of these approaches you can create an image ready for printing at a specific size, and with the appropriate printer profile embedded in the final image.