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What is a Contact Sheet and How Do You Make One?
Creating a contact sheet isn’t complicated, but if you’re using Windows or using options like Contact Sheet II through Adobe Photoshop, creating contact sheets requires a few steps. Here’s your step-by-step guide to creating contact sheets.
How to create a contact sheet
Here’s how to create a contact sheet on the 2 most common platforms: Windows and Photoshop
Contact sheet in Windows
1) Under “My Computer” mark the images you want to print
If you want to make it easier, put all the photos you want to print in one folder. That way you can mark everything on your contact sheet instead of selecting them in the folder.
2) With the selected photos right click and click “Print”
The real trick here is to select some images because it tells Windows that you are trying to print some images.
3) Customize your contact sheet settings
Now that you are in the print control panel, select your printer, paper size and type, and the number of copies to print.
4) Select “Contact Sheet” from the Print Size List
This step tells Windows that you are trying to create a contact sheet, so it automates most of the procedure for creating your contact sheet. It’s not as comprehensive as what you could do in Photoshop, but it’s easy and more than enough if you just need a basic audition.
5) Click “Print” to start printing
You are almost done creating your contact form! However, there is one more thing that you need to activate before you are done.
6) Set the printer option to PDF and click Print
Since the intention is to save your contact sheet for later use, you should set your printer option to PDF instead of the regular printer. You can print the PDF as normal or share your contact form online.
Using Photoshop to Create a Contact Sheet
Creating contact sheets in Photoshop is a little more complicated than directly from Windows. Here is the procedure for creating a contact sheet in Photoshop.
1) Create a folder with the photos you want
This step is optional for Windows, but it’s significantly less difficult to do this way while using Adobe Photoshop. Make sure to put the folder somewhere that is easily accessible, you may need it later.
2) Click on Adobe Photoshop and press File > Automate > Contact Sheet II
This tells Photoshop that you are trying to create a contact sheet with the Contact Sheet II setting. It also starts uploading data to the contact form template, but we have one more step to go before we see it.
For curious readers, Photoshop specifically mentions the Contact Sheet II to differentiate it from other ways to create contact sheets. The original contact sheet involves placing the image negatives on photo paper and then making contact with the sheet. Today, however, this procedure is almost universally digitized.
3) Select the folder
That’s why we put all the photos in a folder before. Photoshop prefers to create contact sheets from an entire folder, so pre-sorting your photos into a folder of your choice make creating a contact sheet much easier.
4) Customize your contact sheet settings
Now that you’ve selected your folder, it’s time to customize your contact sheets. You can set the width and height in pixels/cm of your photos on this page and you can also get columns and rows of thumbnails for the spreadsheet. It allows you to manage the variety of photos you see on the contact sheet.
5) Press “OK”
Once your contact sheet appears, press the “OK” button to proceed to the final stage of this procedure.
6) Save contact sheets as a JPEG or PDF file
Just like creating contact sheets in Windows, we need to save them to the computer before printing them. The Windows method works best when saving in PDF format, but you can create contact sheets in JPEG and PDF format when using Photoshop. Make sure to choose the correct file path to save the sheet before the sheet you just completed.
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