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I often find that I am needing to print collections of images I've created that are small enough to fit multiple per page (e.g. 100 PNG files that are 4in x 3in).

Usually when I do this I create a new Microsoft Publisher document with custom page size to match the image size and then manually add each image one at a time to the publisher document (which also slows me down since I have to reposition the images and resize them since they are inserted at 90% size).

I feel like there has to be a better way to do this but lots of googling has not provided me with a solution. I cannot find a program that keeps the images at their default size (OR allows me to customize image dimensions) AND prints multiple images per page.

This seems basic enough but I just can't figure out how to automate this simple task and I am apparently looking in all the wrong places.

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  • The part that is throwing me for a loop is the “multiple per page without resizing dimensions” part. You basically are looking for a tool to create a contact sheet. Sep 4 '15 at 1:24
  • what do you mean by without resizing, perhaps to avoid quality issues? do you mean without changing the aspect ratio? Sep 4 '15 at 1:30
  • Microsoft VBA Scripting in publisher should be able to automate exactly the steps you take now. Sep 4 '15 at 1:38
  • @JakeGould A contact sheet is essentially what I want but I can't find a contact sheet option on any program that lets me set the size of the image I want (i.g. the printed images must be exactly 4in x 3in). Do you know of any that do this?
    – Vinny
    Sep 4 '15 at 2:30
  • @StackAbstraction What I mean by "without resizing" is that I want the images to print at the size they were created at (e.g. an image created in photoshop to be 4in x3in with 300dpi should print out to be 4in x 3in at 300dpi placing however many images on each sheet that can fit).
    – Vinny
    Sep 4 '15 at 2:34
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The free image utiltiy Irfanview was my "go-to" program for that when I used Windows. Among the countless things it can do with images is contact sheets (select Create contact sheet from selected filesfrom the file menu).

You can modify the sheet template (page orientation and number of images across and down per page, plus customize other settings if desired, like margins, labeling, etc.). The set up is fast and intuitive.

It will do what you've described in the comments. I'll explain how Irfanview does contact sheets and how to use it accomplish what you've described.

To clarify image size, all of the template "cells" will be a uniform size. All images on a contact sheet will be fitted into that same size "cells", which you can make any size you want as long as the matrix will fit on the page.

If the image is not already the exact size of the cell, it will size the image to fit the template, maintaining the aspect ratio. It will fit the largest size of each image that can be contained in the defined template "cell". It uses resampling (if size adjustment is necessary), so the fitted images are high quality.

So if you have a collection of 4" x 3" images and you want to keep them that size, group them together as a batch and create a contact sheet template containing cells of that size. For example, you could create a portrait, letter-size template that would fit two across by three down (six per sheet). You would adjust the borders so the "cells" are exactly 4" x 3". The images would fit exactly, without the need for resizing. Then identify the files to use, and it will create and save the contact sheet pages (which is what you print).

You can use it to create sheets of exact size images that are all the same original size, or to take a folder with images of different sizes, aspect ratios, etc., and produce sheets where that collection is fitted into cells of uniform size.

It saves the settings, so the next batch requires just telling it what images to use. In your case, if you have groups of images of different sizes, you would tweak the settings as needed between batches.

It produces great output with minimal effort.

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  • Downloaded Irfanview and browsed the Contact Sheet Dialog. I'm pretty sure this isn't what I'm looking for, but just to make sure I haven't missed something ... how do I tell it either: 1) the dimensions I want my images to be OR 2) not to resize the images and use their default dimension? Hitting print and having the images be an exact size AND having as many that can fit on the page at that size is what is most important to me.
    – Vinny
    Sep 4 '15 at 2:18
  • @Vinny: see if the expanded description covers what you're trying to do. It's not quite as automated a setup as you describe, but it really doesn't take long to do.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 4 '15 at 3:01
  • I see what are you driving at now. Thanks for your help, but this still seems like a very roundabout way to go about this. I will definately use this way for now (it's way easier than what I was doing) but I'm not ready to give up on the thought that there must be a better solution.
    – Vinny
    Sep 4 '15 at 6:25
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Under Windows 7 this is a quick built-in solution. It allows 4, 9, or 36 images per page

http://picturesandstories.com/news/2014/2/24/how-to-print-a-contact-sheet-of-photos-in-windows

enter image description here

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  • I tried this and found that it would resize my images on me. Is there an option to tell it the exact dimensions I want? I can't seem to find that, and if it is not available it's not what I'm looking for.
    – Vinny
    Sep 4 '15 at 2:01

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