iPhoto: Printing Wallet Size Prints


I don't see any preset settings for printing wallet size pictures from iPhoto. I'd like to print a page of wallet size photos of a single picture or be able to print a sheet of wallet size photos of different pictures. How do I do that?


Mac OS? X 10.2.x (10.2.8 or newer recommended) , iPhoto 2.0 or newer and a color printer.


While it's true, iPhoto doesn't have formal preset settings for printing or cropping images for wallet size printing, the various components are there. It's more a matter of connecting the dots. All we really want to do is crop an image to the correct wallet size ratio, then specify the corresponding size (2x3 inches) to print on a sheet of paper.

Cropping to a Wallet Size ratio:
A wallet size photo is typically 2" x 3" which has a ratio of 1:1.5 (3 / 2 = 1.5). A 4 x 6 picture also has the same ratio, 1:1.5 (6 / 4 = 1.5). As such, while there is no formal wallet size cropping ratio listed in the iPhoto cropping list, we can none the less crop to that ratio using the 4x6 choices in the bottom left of the iPhoto editing screen as shown here.

Starting in iPhoto 4 (part of iLife'04) Apple has added a cropping settings for 2x3 (wallet size) to the palette. The basic process as described in this article still applies.

Print Settings
Again, while there is no formal print a sheet of wallet size pictures type option in iPhoto, we can none the less print such a sheet by modifying the Print settings using available options from within iPhoto. This screen illustrates the settings required to print a series of wallet sized photos. Notice the Style pop-up menu has been set to Standard sheet and we specified 2x3 (aka wallet size) from the available options.

The specific steps on how to crop and print a sheet of wallet size images (be it one picture many times or different images) are detailed below. While there is some wasted paper, you can print up to 8 wallet size images on a single 8.5x11 or 8x10 sheet of paper directly from iPhoto. Manual cutting is required after the fact but that's to be expected since we do not have preprinted wallet size sheets.

What to do

We'll outline the steps to address the two most common conditions. Printing a page of wallet size photos of a single picture and printing a sheet of wallet size photos of different images.

To print one picture as a page of Wallet Size photos do this:

  1. double click the desired image in iPhoto
  2. choose 4x6 from the cropping pop-up menu in the bottom left corner
    • (note: you can use either orientation, 4x6 postcard or 4x6 portrait)
  3. drag to define the image area and press the crop button
  4. choose File? Menu → Page Setup...
  5. from the Page Size pop-up choose the desired page size and press OKAY
    • (note: choose either 8.5x11 or 8x10 paper to get at least 8 images per sheet)
  6. choose File Menu > Print
  7. from the Style pop-up choose Standard Prints
    • (note: make the appropriate settings printer and print presets for your type of paper. The specifics of making print presets or selecting paper types, etc are beyond the scope of this article)
  8. from the Sizepop-up choose 2x3
  9. Observe, the preview on the left now shows 8 copies of the image cropped and open in steps 1 through 3.
    • (note: Do NOT check one photo per page unless you want to waste a lot of paper and print only one 2x3 photo on a large sheet of paper )
  10. proceed with the printing operation as usual

The results will be a single sheet of paper with 8 wallet size images on it. Now all you need to do is cut the images and give them away Wink

quicktime Demo Movie 1 ( need movie help?)

To print one sheet with different wallet size images do this:

The steps required are essentially the same as noted earlier. Here's an overview of the key steps that are unique

  1. crop each image you'd like to print using the 4x6 cropping option
    • (note; you can mix landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) images, iPhoto will rotate the images for you when it comes time to print)
  2. Perform your page setup as described earlier
  3. Press the Organize button so you can see all of your images
  4. select the images you want to print (remember only 8 pictures will fit on a single 8.5x11 or 8.x10 sheet so only choose 8 images at a time)
  5. Choose File Menu → Print and use the settings described earlier
  6. Observe: the preview pane on the left now shows a single sheet containing the 8 unique images you selected in step (4). Continue the printing operation to see the results.

Hint: In step #4 we said you should only select 8 images since that's all that will fit on a single page. So, the burning question must now be, what happens if I pick more than 8 images? Well, what happens is pretty much as you suspected. If you select more than 8 images, and use the steps we described, iPhoto will automatically print the required number of pages to print the selected photos in 2x3 wallet size. So, really our warning in step #4 was really so you don't waste a lot of paper as you could select images in multiple of 8's (8, 16, 24, 32, etc) and iPhoto will be more than happy to figure out and print the required number of sheets (just make sure you have plenty of paper and ink)

quicktime Demo Movie 2 ( need movie help?)

This second technique can be helpful if you have taken a several photos of say friends or relatives and would like to print a sheet of 'head shots' for distribution. Remember if you need to print multiple sheets simply specify the desired number of copies when you choose print (just have plenty of sharp knives handy to do the trimming!).

We hope that helps

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