I recently received a great two part question from a reader about saving your digital scrapbook pages for printing and for posting in galleries. This week we’ll tackle the first part of her question:
I would really love it if you could explain the proper way to save a layout for printing. Would I just flatten my image and then save as a .jpeg? Or do I leave my file in the default format of .psd? I would like to save my layouts so they’re not huge in size taking up unnecessary EHD space. So in other words, what’s the best way to save a file at the smallest size without compromising the printing quality?
I asked my friend Stan from Scrapper’s Workshop to answer this for you, since he works at a professional photo lab.
“For printing, we are aiming for 300 ppi resolution.Â So your 12×12 layout should be 3600 pixels x 3600 pixels.Â Now that’s a big file.Â (3600×3600 pixels = 12.9 million pixels x 3 color layers approx 39 million pixels or a 37 megabyte image.)
Almost all labs will ask for a jpg file because most software / printers will only print jpgs or tiffs.Â Tiffs are accepted by some labs but the file size is so much bigger (jpgs are compressed to be much smaller in size without loosing quality). PSD’s are generally not accepted because the lab has to change it into a jpg anyway.
So to optimize storage space you are looking at what level of jpg compression is acceptable without loss or quality.Â In our opinion, in Photoshop, you can set the compression level from 12 down to 10 (or even 9) and not see any loss of quality. A quick test I did just got a 6.3 megabyte file at 12 to 3.6 megabytes at 10 -Â Â at 43% saving!
And don’t be penny-wise but pound-foolish: EHD and DVD’s are at the cheapest they have ever been. It is well worth it to carefully select the work you want to keep and then keep that at high resolution for the future.”
Check back next Saturday for an extra special “answer” to the second part of this reader’s question:
Secondly, I know that there is a way you’re supposed to save your layouts for posting on the internet, and I know how to do this, but is there a way to save that as a “setting” or an “action” so I don’t have to go through those steps each time?