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Using Lightroom to create print-ready files

6th June 2013 | Technical

If you’re an Adobe Lightroom 4 (or later) or Classic user you can use the included Print module to layout your image(s) exactly how you want and prepare a file for printing with the highest quality results. Sophisticated layouts can be created in Lightroom with ease and a lot of flexibility. Your layout could be just a single image placed exactly how you want on the paper or multiple images/copies arranged however you like, even overlapping. After you’ve tweaked your images and done the layout the following will explain how to create a JPEG file you can upload to Macquarie Editions’ site for subsequent printing.

Lightroom Print

Before you start you will need to install the recommended eciRGB_v2 profile (click here for a direct link to the download). Install the included eciRGB_v2_ICCv4.icc file into your profile library (on a Mac copy the icc file to Library/ColorSync/Profiles, on Windows right-click on the profile and select Install Profile).

The first step of any print job is to define or select the page size with Page Setup. You may need to create a Custom Page Size for your job to match the desired sheet or roll dimensions. Don’t worry about the Print Settings as these aren’t relevant for printing to a file. After you have done the print layout to your satisfaction, set up the Print Job panel as below:

Print Job settings

  • The Print to selection is JPEG File as you’ll be creating a file for upload, not printing directly.
  • Make sure Draft Mode Printing (a low quality mode) is disabled.
  • Set the File Resolution to 360ppi (optionally 720ppi for smaller prints).
  • Set Print Sharpening to Standard for optimal results, or High if you prefer crisper output. This is a matter of personal taste.
  • Set Media Type to Matte for rag papers or Glossy for glossy or lustre papers.
  • Set JPEG Quality to 100. This will result in a larger file, but it should still be an acceptable size for upload.
  • Leave Custom File Dimensions disabled to use the layout you’ve already created.
  • For Profile, select eciRGB v2 ICCv4 (which you installed above). The first time you do this you will have to select Other… from the dropdown list and navigate to the profile in question.
  • For Intent select Relative (though this shouldn’t make any difference here).
  • It’s possible to tweak your image with Print Adjustment but if you have calibrated your monitor to the target recommended by Macquarie Editions this shouldn’t be necessary.
  • Finally, click Print to File. This will resample your image to the specified output resolution, sharpen it, convert from Lightroom’s internal colour space to the intermediate space specified and create a JPEG file you can upload for printing.